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News stories tagged with "state-government"

We’re in a period where we’re going to have to make some tough choices.

NYS Education boss says consolidations, mergers necessary

New York State's Education Commissioner says school district consolidations and mergers are a necessary fact of the on going economic downturn. John King is encouraging schools upstate and on Long Island to consider the controversial mergers. In Albany, Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Executive order boosts NY agriculture

David Paterson may be on his way out as Governor. But he's trying to leave a legacy to New York's farmers. Last week, Paterson signed an executive order to promote sustainable farms and protect agricultural land. Paterson said the order would benefit New York's "long-term economic and environmental prosperity."

The order will leverage state government's huge purchasing power to help New York's $4 billion a year agriculture industry.

To help us understand what the executive order actually means, David Sommerstein spoke with Agriculture commissioner Pat Hooker.  Go to full article

NY pension fund sues BP to recover stock losses

State officials in New York announced yesterday that they're suing BP. They hope to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in losses suffered by the state's pension fund after the oil giant's stock price plummeted. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Republicans help Democrats avoid NYS gov shutdown

If there's no state budget in place next week, New Yorkers can expect another showdown over an emergency spending bill.

Last night the Legislature averted an unprecedented shutdown of state government by approving another of the budget extenders that have kept government operating since the new fiscal year began April 1. Lawmakers will have to vote on another emergency extender next week if there's no agreement on a comprehensive state budget by then.

Last night's key vote came in the Senate. The Democrat-led chamber approved Gov. David Paterson's latest budget extension, which included human services cuts. But the majority needed help from the Republican minority to do it. Karen DeWitt has more.  Go to full article

North Country counties, school districts brace for massive cuts

Governor Paterson's decision to withhold funding for local governments and school districts is sending shock waves through the North Country. People in this part of New York rely heavily on government for social services, most provided by towns and counties but paid for with state subsidies. Locals also look to local government for the highest paying and most dependable jobs. To understand just how large the impact of state budget cuts could be, Brian Mann looks in-depth this morning at Essex County. In Elizabethtown, the county seat, state subsidies shape every aspect of life and the economy.  Go to full article

Lewis county braces for big job cuts

Lewis County is preparing to tighten its belt in order to absorb cuts in state aid. It has proposed slashing more than 2 million dollars from its budget by eliminating 52 jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

State Prison Officials Say Counties Paying Less

State prison officials say they're doing their part to save counties money -- by cutting the number of "state ready" inmates sitting in local jails. The number of prisoners waiting for a spot in state prison has fallen by 96 percent -- saving counties hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Pension Fund Fall-Out: Higher Local Budgets, Higher Property Taxes

The bearish stock market is crippling New York's big employee pension funds, which lost more than ten percent of their value in the last year. In the North Country, local governments and school districts rely on those funds to finance their retirement plans. To shore up the pension program, local leaders will have to pay tens of millions of dollars - money that will come from higher property taxes.
As Brian Mann reports, lawmakers in Albany hope to soften the blow, but critics say the state retirement system could be weakened.  Go to full article
Assemblyman Chris Ortloff and sawmill owner Pat Mitchell testify in Albany.  <br />Photo provided by Ortloff's office.
Assemblyman Chris Ortloff and sawmill owner Pat Mitchell testify in Albany.
Photo provided by Ortloff's office.

Sawmills ?Saved?: Rule Change Approved In Albany

State officials in Albany have agreed to allow the use of rough cut lumber in construction projects. Without the change to state building codes, made on Wednesday, hundreds of small sawmills in the North Country would have been forced to shut down. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

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