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News stories tagged with "albany"

New York State is known more for how its elected officials misbehave in office than anything else.

Ethical lapses dog Albany

A report on turnover in the state legislature finds that more lawmakers left because of corruption related scandals and criminal charges than lost re-election bids, constituting what a government reform group is calling a "legislative crime wave". Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article
There are discussions ongoing. Do we have an agreement yet? No.

Bumpy road for ethics reform in Albany

Tensions over an ethics reform bill that's being negotiated in private between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders spilled into the open this week, as finger pointing began over which side was holding up the legislation. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Cuomo to release his budget Tuesday

Governor Andrew Cuomo releases his first budget plan tomorrow. The state is facing a $10-billion deficit, and at the Capitol, they are bracing for big cuts. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
Ritchie will bring along her longtime assistant, Pat McMurray, to Albany.
Ritchie will bring along her longtime assistant, Pat McMurray, to Albany.

Ritchie readies to fight in Albany

State lawmakers face a daunting slate of challenges in next year's session, including a $10 billion deficit, soaring taxes, and a seemingly intractable environment of discord and partisan bickering.
It's into this dysfunctional world that the North Country's newest State Senator is preparing to go. Republican Patty Ritchie is leaving St. Lawrence County government today for the first time since she started work at the local DMV office almost 25 years ago.
Ritchie's been county clerk for 11 years. Her successes in that position were the foundation of a winning campaign to unseat Democratic Senator Darrel Aubertine.
David Sommerstein stopped by Ritchie's office to talk politics, issues, and what she's leaving behind. He has this profile.  Go to full article
The country's population is growing away from the Northeast (Photo: US Census)
The country's population is growing away from the Northeast (Photo: US Census)

As New York loses two House seats, big North Country shift possible

New Census figures were released yesterday and the news wasn't good for New York state. Federal officials say population trends over the last decade mean New York will lose two seats in Congress. That could mean big changes in sprawling rural districts, including the 20th and the 23rd. As Brian Mann reports, the loss of power is also likely to trigger a bitter political fight in Albany.  Go to full article

Paterson fined over Yankees tickets

Governor Paterson has been fined over $62,000 by the state's ethics panel, which accuses him of illegally soliciting free tickets to a Yankees World Series game for himself, his son, his son's friend and aides, then lying about it in a cover up. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Poll: skeptical view of fixing Albany

One day after the State Senate's failure to approve a bail out bill for New York City's OTB, leaving nearly a thousand people out of a job, comes a poll that finds New Yorkers have little hope for fixing Albany anytime soon, even with the advent of a new governor, Andrew Cuomo, in January. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
The state of New York owes Northville Central School hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid property taxes (Photo:  Northville CSD website)
The state of New York owes Northville Central School hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid property taxes (Photo: Northville CSD website)

Are state property tax payments to Adirondacks a sure thing?

In many parts of the Adirondack Park, the biggest engine of the local economy isn't tourism or timber or mining. The main driver of the cash economy is the state of New York.

The state funds thousands of jobs in the Park at prisons, hospitals, schools, and mental health facilities.

But Albany also makes tens of millions of dollars in direct property tax payments every year to local governments and school districts, while asking for almost no services in return.

With New York's budget deficit expected to top ten billion dollars next year, community leaders are worried that those tax payments could be squeezed.

In part one of a two part series, Brian Mann looks at communities in the Park that have already seen the state cut off their property tax payments.  Go to full article
A decrease in state money and we're going to be limited on what we can raise locally? It is going to be a very, very difficult year.

Cuomo wants property tax cap for schools

As Governor Andrew Cuomo prepares to take office, one of his most high-profile agenda items is a proposed cap on the local property taxes that fund public schools.

It's not exactly a hard cap, but Cuomo wants to limit annual increases to just 2%.

That would be a big change from the double-digit increases that some North Country districts have seen in recent years.

The idea of some kind of property tax relief is supported by a wide range of politicians and tax-reform activists.

But many educators say other ideas should be on the table as well. And they say schools could be squeezed dangerously, forcing them to cut more teachers and more programs.

Brian Mann has our story  Go to full article
The state is in a real hole here and the counties have no interest in them simply passing the hole on to us.

Counties fear squeeze of state mandates, tax cap

If Albany approves a cap on property tax increases this winter, counties in the North Country could find themselves squeezed tighter than ever before.

They already facing rising demand for government services, at a time when costs for pensions, insurance, and fuel are also going up.

And the state pays less and less each year to cover the costs of programs that are mandated by New York's legislature.

With revenues already slipping in many counties, a property tax cap could push them deep into the red. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

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