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News stories tagged with "reform"

Scozzafava has role in Cuomo local gov reform

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced yesterday afternoon that former North Country Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava will serve as Deputy Secretary for Local Government in his Department of State.

In that role, Scozzafava could find herself at the center of some of Albany's biggest debates over the next year.

Cuomo campaigned on "reform in Albany." And he promised to push for the downsizing and consolidation of local governments across New York.

One of the new administration's top agenda items is a 2 percent property tax cap for local governments and school districts.

Speaking yesterday to the Watertown Daily Times, Scozzafava said she was "very excited to work with the Cuomo administration as he sets forward to rejuvenate this state."

Scozzafava, a Republican, has been hugely popular in her Assembly district, but is also a controversial figure in North Country politics.

She dropped out of a 2009 special election for the 23rd district House seat after facing stiff opposition from Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.
She later endorsed Democrat Bill Owens in that race, and again in his reelection bid this fall. She also endorsed Cuomo in his gubernatorial campaign.  Go to full article
New Governor Andrew Cuomo cuts a symbolic barrrier to his 2nd floor offices at the capitol. Photo: Karen DeWitt..
New Governor Andrew Cuomo cuts a symbolic barrrier to his 2nd floor offices at the capitol. Photo: Karen DeWitt..

Cuomo promises openess, public trust

Andrew Cuomo is now New York's 56th Governor. In a simple ceremony before around 200 family, friends, and top aides at the State Capitol, he vowed to restore trust in government. Karen DeWitt was there.  Go to full article
Andrew Cuomo campaigning.
Andrew Cuomo campaigning.

New governor, new pledge for reform

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo made reform one of his key campaign promises, a pledge he repeated when he claimed victory with 63% of the vote on election night in November.

"The mandate tonight is to clean up Albany," Cuomo told a room crowded cheering supporters, "...and to have elected officials who represent the people of this state, and not the special interests and not the lobbyists."

Our Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt looks at how he might accomplish that.  Go to full article

Lawmakers reform authorities?long called New York's "shadow governments"

Governor David Paterson signed into law legislation to reform the state's public authorities, a measure he says will shed "sunlight" onto what has been a dark corner of government. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Senate comes to Albany, stays away from tough issues

The New York State Senate met in a special one day session yesterday. The senators approved Governor Paterson's choice to head the MTA. But the Senate, still closely divided after a bitter leadership standoff in June, failed to pass ethics reform, and stayed away from other more controversial measures, including the state's budget deficit. And there was some drama. Karen DeWitt was there.  Go to full article

No ethics reform, for now

There's unlikely to be any agreement on reforming the state's troubled ethics commission until the fall, now that Governor Paterson has agree to allow the Assembly to hold hearings on the matter, a process that could take months. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Senate passes drug law changes

The State Senate approved sweeping changes to the Rockfeller drug laws last night as a part of the state budget. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
Republican David Renzi
Republican David Renzi

Renzi advocates tax cuts, defends attacks

Senator Darrel Aubertine raised almost a quarter of a million dollars in the last three weeks. And he spent nearly that amount. That's according to the latest campaign finance data filed on Friday. Aubertine, a Democrat, is locked in a fierce race with Republican David Renzi for the 48th Senate seat. Renzi raised more than $155,000 over the same time period. He spent $137,000. Both men received most of the money from their respective state party committees. The only poll in the race showed Aubertine with a 20% lead in late September. The big infusion of cash to Aubertine's campaign suggests that lead may have tightened. The Aubertine-Renzi race will be watched closely across New York. It could determine which party controls the State Senate next year. Republicans are clinging to a one-seat edge. Negative attack ads and accusations have dominated the race. Today we begin the first of two interviews with the candidates. David Renzi, the Republican challenger, is a prosecutor and former public defender in Watertown. He's never held public office. Renzi's waged an aggressive campaign as an outsider who wants to bring reform to Albany. He won the endorsement of the Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper. Renzi told David Sommerstein his first priority is to lower taxes.  Go to full article
The "friendship monument" rededication was a small, quiet affair atop the dam.
The "friendship monument" rededication was a small, quiet affair atop the dam.

NYPA celebrates 50th amidst controversy

50 years ago, the Moses-Saunders power dam began producing electricity from the St. Lawrence River in Massena. It forever changed the North Country's environment, economy, and culture. The dam also gave birth to a state-owned utility called the New York Power Authority. Today, NYPA owns 18 generating plants and is one of the most politically powerful authorities in New York. It's developed a reputation for secrecy and patronage. There are widespread calls for NYPA's reform. Yesterday, the Power Authority celebrated 50 years of harnessing the waters of the St. Lawrence in a small event on the middle of the dam. As David Sommerstein reports, it was a ceremony full of contradictions.  Go to full article

Cuomo peels back the curtain of state government

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new website Wednesday that he says will help the public become more informed on what their government is doing, and hopefully, restore some public trust. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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