Mar 14, 2014 — For the first time, New York's state Senate has included Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan for public campaign financing in its budget resolution. The inclusion of public campaign financing would seem to signal an abrupt change of policy for Republicans, who co-lead the Senate. The GOP has long maintained that a matching small donor plan using public funds is a waste of the taxpayers' money, and would only lead to more annoying "robocalls."
The sparsely-worded provision, however, has raised many more questions than answers. It simply says that the Senate intends to "modify" Cuomo's proposal to "adopt a system of public campaign finance." Go to full article
NY Senate Independent Democratic conference leader Jeff Klein. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Mar 14, 2014 — A Senate co-leader is claiming victory for the Senate's rejection of a cut in banking taxes proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Jeff Klein is the leader of the Independent Democratic conference that shares leadership with Republicans in the state Senate. He says the resolution will use the $350 million in savings to help families. Go to full article
Mar 14, 2014 — Both houses of the legislature are making changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax freeze plan in their budget proposals. And now, small business groups are speaking out, saying the proposal favors some homeowners, at their expense. Go to full article
Mar 13, 2014 — Assembly Democrats say there should be more money for schools and the environment, and major changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to freeze property taxes. The Assembly's one-house budget resolution is the first step in reaching agreement on a final spending plan by the end of March. Go to full article
The New York State Department of Education. Photo: Mike Wren, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 12, 2014 — New York's legislature today replaced one member of the State Board of Regents, but allowed three others to remain, in elections held for the state's top educational policy board. The vote featured complaints from Republican Senators who voted against all of the candidates to demonstrate their displeasure with the state's implementation of the new Common Core. Go to full article
New York state's Department of Education. Photo: Mike Wren, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 11, 2014 — Senate Republicans say they will break a longstanding tradition of boycotting the election of new member of New York's board of Regents, the group responsible for the general supervision of education in the state. The Republicans now say they will attend a joint legislative session, and that many will vote no over dissatisfaction with the Common Core. It's uncertain whether all four of the incumbent Regents members will be reelected. Go to full article
At a pre-K program in New York City. Funding universal pre-Kindergarten for all of New York state's kids is one of the unresolved issues in this year's budget. Photo: edenpictures, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 10, 2014 — Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the state Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month. The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their budget resolutions on Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo later this month. Go to full article
Interior, New York state Capitol. Photo: JvL, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 10, 2014 — Both houses of the legislature are due to release their budget proposals this week. They'll use those to negotiate a final spending plan with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in an interview with NYS-PBS's New York Now and public radio stations, says Assembly Democrats are not yet on board with part of Cuomo's plan to cut the estate tax. Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office, via Flickr
Mar 07, 2014 — There's growing unease over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax freeze plan. A hundred local government officials have signed a letter opposing the plan, including Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic Party Co-Chair Stephanie Miner.
There are signs that the legislature may modify what critics have called an overly complex proposal when the Senate and Assembly release their one-house state budgets. Go to full article
New York Assembly chamber. Photo: Matt H. Wade, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 06, 2014 — The New York State Assembly has passed a bill to delay some of the effects of the state's Common Core learning standards. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the bill delays the effects of the new learning standards for two more years, for both students and teachers. Go to full article
Karen DeWitt has covered state government and politics
at the New York State Capitol for public radio for since 1990, and is a contributor to the statewide public television program New York Now.
Before that she worked for WINS, New York. She has also written
for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life,
Empire State Report, and Metroland. Email Karen | Karen DeWitt on Twitter