Nov 20, 2013 — Taxes and tax reform are likely to be a major topic in the next legislative session, which begins in seven weeks. Governor Cuomo is relying on two separate commissions for ideas about tax changes, while progressive groups and Republicans in the State Senate are also weighing in. Go to full article
At a forum on Common Core and standardized testing in Plattsburgh last week, a moderator asks all the parents in the audience to raise their hands. Photo: Sarah Harris
Nov 19, 2013 — A new Siena College poll finds over half of New Yorkers think school children are taking too many tests. They're also uneasy about new standards known as the Common Core. Go to full article
Nov 19, 2013 — Governor Andrew Cuomo's approval rating is the lowest it's been since he's been governor, according to a new Siena College poll.
The Siena College poll finds only 44% of voters like the job that Andrew Cuomo is doing as governor. 56% say he's doing a fair or poor job. Siena's Steve Greenberg says it's the first time the governor's approval rating has dipped below 50%. Go to full article
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail
Nov 18, 2013 — A landowners group says it intends to file a lawsuit against what it says are the Cuomo Administration's unreasonable delays on hydro-fracking before the end of the year.
The Joint Landowner's Association has raised nearly enough money to file a claim in State Supreme Court, says the group's attorney Scott Kurkoski. He says the suit will, in part, focus on New York State's unprecedented delay in a decision about fracking, which has now dragged on for over five years. He says numerous other states that now allow the gas drilling practice decided in anywhere from 8 to 24 months. Go to full article
Saranac Lake middle school students take the state standardized English language arts test in April 2012. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Nov 15, 2013 — A coalition of unions and government reform groups are calling for a ban on standardized testing for New York's schoolchildren in second grade and younger.
In a teleconference, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said it's "absurd" that the groups are even in the position of calling for a ban on standardized testing for children in pre-kindergarten through the second grade. Mulgrew and others say that the tests are inappropriate for four to seven-year-olds, and should never have been implemented in the first place. Go to full article
Saranac Lake middle school students take the state standardized English language arts test in April 2012 in the school's gymnasium. Photo: Chris Knight via Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Nov 14, 2013 — New York State's Teacher of the Year testified at a Senate hearing that even she could not receive high marks in her teacher evaluation process, due to what she and others say is the dysfunctional implementation of the new Common Core standards. Go to full article
Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick at the launch of the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, which he co-chairs. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office
Nov 13, 2013 — Advocacy groups are encouraged by recent statements by the co-chair of Governor Cuomo's anti-corruption commission, who says he now favors public financing of political campaigns.
William Fitzpatrick, the Syracuse-area Onondaga County DA who co-chairs Cuomo's anti-corruption commission, says he has become a convert to using public funds to finance political campaigns. Go to full article
Nov 12, 2013 — Now that this year's elections are over, the political world is gearing up for the 2014 contestsGovernor Cuomo is expected to seek another term, and so far no one has officially said that they will run against him. Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Gov. George Pataki (left) shake hands at the launch of the NYS Tax Relief COmmission in October. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office
Nov 11, 2013 — Now that elections are over, deadlines for the state budget are rapidly approaching. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has released a largely positive budget outlook for the New Year, though he warns of some uncertainties.
Under reforms adopted a few years ago, state officials, including the Comptroller, are required to start the budget process, which ends in late march, even earlier. Go to full article
Actress Cynthia Nixon speaking at a rally in support of the Women's Equality Act in Albany in June 2013. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Nov 08, 2013 — A coalition of women's groups is relaunching the Women's Equality Act, which failed in the legislature earlier this year, with a new strategy that they say could help them win passage in 2014. 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