New York State Legislature

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The State Senate acted Wednesday on measures that lawmakers say will improve safety on New York’s roads, including adding cameras to the stop arms of school buses.

In 1966, then-Speaker of the California Assembly Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh aptly observed “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”  If so, in Albany, our elected officials are extremely well-nourished.  New York law makes it easy to pull in donations from those with deep pockets; the state has the largest campaign contribution limits (of any state that has limits) in the nation.  Under state law, one can make a legal campaign contribution of over $115,000 to a political party and can donate nearly $70,000 to candidates for governor.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

A bill that would create a backdoor method to release President Donald Trump’s taxes is moving through the New York state Senate and could be voted on as early as next week.

Last week, the debate came to a head over whether New York should create a voluntary system of public financing of elections.  The state Senate, which appears to be a supporter, held a public hearing to gather testimony on the governor’s proposed plan. 

Eliyanna Kaiser, member of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, speaks before the Senate and Assembly held hearings on improving the state's anti-sexual harassment policies
Karen DeWitt

During the first hearing on sexual harassment in New York’s government in 27 years, state lawmakers on Wednesday closely scrutinized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policies on the issue, as victims told harrowing stories about their experiences.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

New York lawmakers say it’s likely they will vote soon to end cash bail and make other changes to help defendants who they say are unfairly treated in in the state’s criminal justice system.

The New York state Capitol
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The New York state Senate passed a bill to make the state’s eight-year-old property tax cap permanent. So far the Assembly has not approved the measure.  

The Child Victims Act is scheduled to be approved in the New York Legislature this week. Sponsors say they have fixed a perceived flaw in the legislation that opponents said could provide a loophole for public schools in sexual abuse cases.

With state lawmakers back in Albany, a new Siena Poll shows half of New Yorkers view the governor and the legislature favorably, but pay raises are another story.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The Democratic-led New York State legislature is set for a big week. Action is planned Monday to implement early voting in the state, and on Tuesday to grant more civil rights to transgender New Yorkers. Also on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo will release his budget proposal.

With the legislature returning to Albany tomorrow, good-government groups are promoting legislation they say would fight corruption in state contracting.

MaryEllen Elia: 2019 Budget Priorities

Jan 8, 2019

Happy New Year to all of you, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

Today, as we look toward the upcoming legislative session, I’d like to talk about the Board of Regents 2019 Budget and Legislative Priorities and our State Aid request for the 2019-20 school year.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Barnard College in New York City Monday.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/sets/72157677489122758

Former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday to promote plans to codify abortion rights in state law in the new legislative session.

New York State Capitol ~ Albany New York ~ Major General Philip H Sheridan ~ Equestrian Statue
Onasill ~ Bill Badzo / flickr

November’s elections are behind us, and Wednesday, their consequences will be felt when the full state legislature convenes in Albany.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Democratic New York state legislators are beginning the New Year with some resentment towards Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo over a deal that gives them a big raise – but comes with several strings attached.

Legislators have a number of issues to tackle including marijuana, education, climate change and infrastructure spending.
Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo promising an aggressive agenda during the first 100 days of his third term, it figures to be a busy session when the full state legislature convenes in Albany January 9.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

On January 9, Democrats will officially take over the New York state Senate for just the third time in more than a century. They expect to act quickly on a number of measures that have been bottled up in the chamber for years, but there could be some friction between them and the state’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo.

Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC

It looks like New York's 213 state lawmakers are getting a pay raise despite some last-minute hopes the package could be modified.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

A government reform group has filed a lawsuit to stop a pay raise granted to New York state lawmakers by a compensation commission. The conservative-leaning Government Justice Center says the salary increase is unconstitutional, because it also “radically change the rules surrounding serving in the state Legislature.” The group filed papers in State Supreme Court in Albany Friday morning. Some lawmakers are also angry over the commission’s recommended restrictions on their outside income and stipends.

The New York state Capitol
Dave Lucas / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he backs a pay commission’s recommendation that he and the legislature receive a more than 60 percent pay increase over the next three years. The move would make the Democrat the highest paid governor in the nation.

The New York state Capitol
Dave Lucas / WAMC

A pay commission for New York’s statewide elected officials recommends a hefty increase to the salaries of the governor, state Senators, and Assemblymembers, but there are some strings attached. 

An early voting sign at Springfield City Hall
WAMC

Democrats who will run the state Senate in January say a top priority will be to expand access to voting in New York. Advocates say there are several steps they can take.

Gov. Cuomo On WAMC's Roundtable 11/16/18

Nov 16, 2018
File: Governor Andrew Cuomo at Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called into WAMC's Roundtable program on Friday and spoke with Dr. Alan Chartock about a variety of issues, including: Amazon, the snowstorm, presidential politics, pay raises for the legislature, single-payer health care and more.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The State Senate races are among the closest contests in New York on November 6th. Democrats need just one seat to take the majority away from Republicans. Spending on the races is growing intense, and accusations are flying.

Composite photo by Dave Lucas

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that a group consisting of New York state government and law enforcement officials, advocates and academics has been appointed to draft legislation for regulating recreational marijuana.

The New York state Capitol
Dave Lucas / WAMC

New York’s leaders are continuing to struggle with actions in Congress on the federal budget and tax overhaul that could adversely affect the state’s finances.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

WAMC's Jim Levulis speaks with Ken Lovett of the New York Daily News about the end of a special legislative session in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring a state of emergency in regards to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the expansion of ride-hailing services in upstate New York and Long Island.

The New York state Capitol
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The New York state Legislature finally ended its 2017 legislative session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers came back to the state Capitol at the command of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called an extraordinary session of the legislature at 1 p.m. Wednesday to deal with unfinished business. But, as the afternoon wore on, there were still no agreements on how to tackle the remaining items.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

One week after the New York state legislature declared the 2017 session over, Governor Andrew Cuomo is commanding that lawmakers return for a special session at 1 p.m. Wednesday to deal with some unfinished business. 

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