May 23, 2013 — Governor Cuomo, who still has not issued a decision on whether hydro fracking should be allowed in New York, is backing further away from the controversial gas drilling process in his economic development plans for the future. Go to full article
NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photo: NYer42, public domain
May 22, 2013 — One day after the state's powerful Assembly Speaker admitted "glaring failures" in his handling of a sexual abuse case, the Albany establishment seemed to be moving on, with the usual round of press conferences, bill passage, and leaders meetings. Go to full article
May 17, 2013 — Voters in New York go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21 to approve new school budgets. The State School Boards Association finds that many school districts are living within the limits imposed by a property tax cap enacted two years ago.
The School Board Association's Tim Kremer says a survey of the state's school districts finds that the vast majority are budgeting within the strictures of the tax cap, and as a result, 93 percent expect their budgets to be approved by voters. Go to full article
Assemblyman Vito Lopez, speaking on a bill on the floor of the Assembly. Photo: New York Assembly
May 16, 2013 — A New York prosecutor says he's found no crime after investigating sexual harassment allegations by female staff members of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Brooklyn Democrat.
But Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said what he found was "alarming," and he admonished higher-level state officials who he said allowed Lopez's behavior through secret settlements and confidentiality.
Meanwhile, the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics found Lopez's actions violated the public trust. Go to full article
May 15, 2013 — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is turning his attention to a previously announced plan to help communities in financial distress.
The governor is offering more details of his plan to set up a restructuring panel to help local governments on the brink of insolvency. He's also putting some money behind the plan...according to the Associated Press, $80 million.
Cuomo says his proposed financial restructuring panel will help local governments in distress merge and consolidate services, possibly lay off more workers and to permanently restructure operations. Go to full article
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver shares the podium with farmworker rights activist Kerry Kennedy. Photo: Karen DeWitt
May 14, 2013 — Lawmakers in Albany tried to carry on as usual in the wake of one of the worst scandals in recent decades. Recent corruption arrests have overshadowed most other news coming out of the Capitol. And much of this week's legislative session has been cancelled.
But politicians who were in town insisted that their agendas are not being derailed. Go to full article
May 10, 2013 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by union and business leaders, and representatives from county governments, offered more details of a plan to build three new gambling casinos. The governor says he wants to limit the locations to upstate regions for now, to prop up the failing economy. He says upstate needs jobs like it needs "oxygen". And he says having a downstate location would devalue the upstate centers. Go to full article
The New York State Senate chamber. Photo: JvL, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
May 09, 2013 — Nine more names of State Senators and others potentially involved in corruption were made public Wednesday, when a judge ordered prosecutors in the case of convicted ex-Senator Shirley Huntley to make public the names of her colleagues that she had secretly recorded. 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