nypirg

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Environmental groups are urging the New York state Department of Health to lower recommended levels for three drinking water contaminants. A public comment period on the recommendations for PFOA and PFOS is now open.

Sun with halo
Pixabay/Public Domain

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is poised to sign a sweeping measure aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. The goal is to aggressively cut greenhouse gases and shift the state’s energy reliance to renewable sources. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne has reaction from her region.

Photo of a faucet
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The New York Public Interest Research Group has a new report showing the prevalence of emerging contaminants detected in the state’s public drinking water supplies. With a focus the past few years on PFOA and PFOS from Hoosick Falls to Newburgh, NYPIRG highlights other emerging contaminants.

Plastic shopping bags caught in trees along Central Avenue in Albany, New York.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Included in the new state budget in New York is the nation’s second statewide single-use plastic bag ban. One Albany lawmaker says it doesn’t go far enough.

velkr0/Flickr

Ahead of his State of the State and budget address Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that a bottle bill expansion and plastic bag ban will be included in the 2019 budget. Environmentalists praise the move but want to ensure it goes far enough while at least one industry group is concerned the bag ban could go too far.

USDA/Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

The New York State Drinking Water Quality Council on Tuesday recommended maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals that turned up a few years ago in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and other communities.

WikiMedia Commons

The New York State Drinking Water Quality Council met Tuesday and recommended maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals that turned up a few years ago in drinking water in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and other communities.

Dutchess Legislature Passes Plastic Bag Ban

Dec 10, 2018
wikipedia commons

The Dutchess County, New York legislature has approved a ban on plastic shopping bags. Despite the near unanimous vote, there was controversy over one aspect that did not make it into the measure.

NYPIRG Student Leader Conference Features Former Mayor

Mar 10, 2018
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner
Wikipedia

The New York Public Interest Research Group will hold its annual spring student leader conference Saturday at a SUNY school in the Hudson Valley. The keynote speaker is a former Democratic mayor from upstate.

ballot box
Wikimedia Commons

Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, joins the show to discuss the three ballot questions facing New Yorkers this Election Day,  November 7. WAMC's Alan Chartock hosts.

The New York Public Interest Research Group has opened an online database giving residents a shortcut to accessing federal and state test results for contaminants in drinking water.

NYPIRG's Blair Horner and Toxic Targeting's Walter Hang present documents on unfinished oil spill clean ups in New York.
Karen DeWitt

Environmental advocates say that New York state officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental aides are defending their record.

Voter Protection Efforts Are In Place

Nov 8, 2016
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Various organizations in New York have voter protection operations in place for Election Day.  So far, problems at the polls, especially in the New York City area, are being described as routine.

New York League of Conservation Voters Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Christopher Goeken
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Concerned about children's exposure to lead found in drinking water, lawmakers met with reporters today at the state capitol in Albany to discuss a last-minute push to require lead testing in all public schools.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Clean water advocates in upstate New York have set their sights on keeping lead out of school drinking water. A coalition of New York public health, environment and healthy schools advocacy groups have banded together as they push state government leaders to take action.

NYPIRG executive director Blair Horner and Dick Dadey executive director of Citizens Union
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With budget negotiations down to the final days before the April 1st deadline, state government watchdogs in Albany say the process has been too opaque — especially after high-profile corruption convictions of the legislature’s former leaders.

Blair Horner: New Year's Resolutions For 2016

Dec 28, 2015

As 2015 recedes into the rear view mirror, it’s time to take stock of the year; its achievements and failures.  And it’s a good time to look to the future.

Blair Horner: Can Albany Fix Itself?

Dec 14, 2015

Another week, another conviction of a high-ranking elected official. It’s hard to know if this is the tipping point for change. New Yorkers can only hope so.

The annual state report on lobbying is out, and it finds that $226 million was spent on influencing government leaders, with the largest amount from education groups.

It’s not a surprise that education entities spent the most money on lobbying than any other group in 2014, just as controversy over the new Common core standards and the related standardized tests reached a peak.

  New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will vacate his post by next week. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle will serve as interim speaker until an election for the post is held on February 10. So, who will be the next Speaker?

We discuss the contenders with Legislative Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, Blair Horner.

  A reform group studied votes taken by local governments across the state on whether to allow hydro-fracking, and found numerous potential conflicts of interest that they say could have tainted the outcome of the votes.

The New York Public Interest Research Group studied 59 municipalities that have voted to permit hydro-fracking in the past few years, if New York State eventually approves the process.  They found numerous questionable activities, including local elected officials holding gas leases and town attorneys who also represented oil and gas companies.

NYPIRG

A new paper issued by the New York Public Interest Research Group says the number of doctors in the state has increased. The findings counter recent research showing the opposite.

The report, titled “The Doctor Is In: New York’s Increasing Number of Doctors,” purports to "debunk the myth" that New York is seeing a loss in the number of its doctors.

A member of a government reform group says it’s OK if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his campaign coffers to finance this week’s trip to Israel if the visit is for political, rather than government purposes.

Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group, says it’s preferable for Governor Cuomo to use funds from his $35 million  campaign fund to pay for his visit to Israel than for state taxpayers to foot the bill.  Horner says by using the campaign money, Cuomo is also signaling that the trip is more of a political event than official government business.

Wikipedia Commons

Government reform groups are split over whether an amendment on the November ballot to change the way legislative district lines are drawn is an improvement, or will make only make gerrymandering worse.

Government reform groups are beginning their push early to convince voters to reject an amendment on redistricting on the state’s November ballot. They say it’s a sham that does not offer the changes that it promises.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The recession may be over, but many New Yorkers say they still feel a pinch in the pocketbook, paying more for just about everything on stagnant salaries. For many it's another day, another bill. People in high places have heard citizens' cries.

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino has been holding a mirror to citizen sentiments with his campaign mantra.   "We're losing more people to other states than any other state in the country. 400,000 people in the last four years.  We are losing because we have the highest taxes in America. And it's not even close."

flickr.com

The April 1 deadline has come and New York State has an on-time budget. New York Public Interest Research Group Legislative Director Blair Horner joins Alan in the studio today to talk about the budget. We want to know what you think of it, too.

Alan Chartock

On this week’s Capitol Connection, our Alan Chartock asks Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group about one of the six ballot questions New Yorkers will vote on next Tuesday – specifically, question as to whether certain judges in New York should be allowed to serve up to ten years after the age of 70 …

NYPIRG’s Blair Horner on this week’s capitol connection which you can hear tomorrow afternoon at 3.

Report Analyzes NYS Legislators' Personal Finances

Sep 4, 2013
Emily Conwell, flickr

A few New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley rank high on a list of state legislators’ personal finances. In fact, a Westchester assemblywoman is number one for household income. The new report from good government groups is a first, and shows several lawmakers are making their money outside the legislative chambers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

When state lawmakers approved a bill to permit new gambling casinos in the final hours of the legislative session, they left something out.   A provision to ban campaign contributions to legislators from gambling corporations did not end up in the final version.

When Governor Cuomo announced his plan to create new gambling centers in New York, he said he also wanted to ban campaign contributions from gambling entities to state lawmakers.

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