NY assemblyman: Lawsuit against WNY nursing home means more accountability, transparency needed

BY Susan Arbetter New York State
UPDATED 9:20 PM ET Nov. 29, 2022

Is there a legislative fix for the kind of fraud, neglect and disinvestment allegedly found at The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion and outlined Tuesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James?

State Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat from Queens, thinks so.

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Assemblyman Ashby prepares move to state Senate

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Upstate Assemblyman Jake Ashby is ready for orientation with his new Senate colleagues this week after winning a close race in a new district.

Voters in the redrawn 43rd Senate District, encompassing all of Rensselaer County, the northwestern piece of Albany County and all but the northern part of Washington County, elected Ashby on Nov. 8 with more than 51% of the vote, according to the state Board of Elections.

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Hochul's chief judge pick will be closely watched

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Nominations to New York's Court of Appeals do not usually attract the same kind of fanfare or scrutiny that a U.S. Supreme Court pick gets at the federal level.

But increasingly, advocates and state lawmakers are viewing Gov. Kathy Hochul's pending nomination to lead the state's top court and its sprawling court system as a consequential one as she prepares to start her four-year term in January.

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Reform groups want more transparency in economic development

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Good-government organizations on Tuesday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to approve a measure that's meant to expand transparency requirements for economic development in New York.

The measure, if approved, would require community advisory committees, which play a role in helping shepherd and oversee economic development projects, to open their meetings to the public.

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Will Barclay re-elected New York Assembly Republican leader

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Central New York state Assemblyman Will Barclay was re-elected the leader of the Republicans on Tuesday to the Democratic-dominated chamber.

The vote was held in private with Republican lawmakers in Albany on Tuesday afternoon as they prepare for the 2023 legislative session set to begin in January.

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New York schools slow in spending federal aid, report finds

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Schools in New York have been slow to spend federal aid sent to them in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis released by an education advocacy organization on Tuesday found.

The report released by the New York Equity Coalition found school districts as of August 2022 have spent less than 10% of funding meant to boost learning after the pandemic disrupted classroom instruction.

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How New York wants to ease burden for caregivers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Caring for an older friend, parent, relative or neighbor is becoming increasingly pervasive, especially in states like New York where the population is older than the national average.

State officials on Monday highlighted an effort to highlight the needs of unpaid caregivers and the increasing challenges they face, especially in the workplace.

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State attorney general report advises caution in charitable giving

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Professional fundraisers received more than 25 cents for each dollar contributed to a charitable cause in 2021, according to an analysis released this week by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office.

The annual report on charitable giving and where the money goes comes as Giving Tuesday is recognized this year and as New Yorkers make annual donations to charity.

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Demand on New York state's electric system increases

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New Yorkers are expected to see electric bills increase by more than 30% this winter compared to last year in wake of various national and geopolitical factors keeping the cost of natural gas and electricity elevated.

Inflation, ongoing supply issues from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine continue to keep energy costs significantly higher, but New York's power grid has a sufficient supply of energy and won't be strained to carry the state through the winter season, according to an assessment Monday by New York Independent System Operator.

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U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in two Cuomo-era NY political corruption cases

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

Hearing arguments in two cases out of New York Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared ready to make it more difficult for prosecutors to pursue political corruption cases against public figures.

Both cases arose from the administration of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. One involves a former top Cuomo aide, while the other stems from Cuomo’s economic development plan known as the Buffalo Billion.

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Buffalo Tops shooting suspect the first to plead guilty under New York's Domestic Terrorism Law

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Among the 15 charges the man who committed the racially motivated mass shooting earlier this year at a Buffalo Tops supermarket pleaded guilty to Monday included 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate.

He is the first person in the state indicted under that law.

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New York advocates push 'All-Electric Building Act' as a response to the high costs of heating oil

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

During a media briefing on Monday, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) stated that it expects wholesale electricity prices to sharply rise this winter, which is in line with estimates from National Grid and other utilities.

Upstate New Yorkers can expect heating bills to rise 30% or more over the next few months. Heating costs are especially volatile this year due to disruptions in the supply of oil and gas from Eastern Europe.

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Crypto industry ponders what's next after New York's proof-of-work moratorium

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul wants the crypto-based industry to flourish in New York, but she said Monday it can't come at the expense of the environment.

"I have said I support the crypto industry," Hochul said Monday. "It does not mean they have to be using our limited resources here in upstate New York to do the mining."

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Debate grows over proposed wrongful death expansion in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A proposed expansion of New York's wrongful death law is coming down to the final weeks of the year as the measure remains one of the more high-profile proposals yet to be considered by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The measure is meant to make it easier for a person to bring a wrongful death claim based on emotional suffering, an extension beyond the current statute that requires a grieving loved one to show financial losses due to a death.

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New law will provide more debt relief to young farmers in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

College graduates who are pursuing careers in agriculture are in line for expanded student debt relief under a measure approved by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The new measure is meant to give more students eligibility under a program meant to encourage young people to becomes farmers.

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Hochul plans renewed push against illegal guns

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul plans to propose "a very comprehensive" plan to staunch the tide of illegal guns into New York, she signaled on Monday ahead of her State of the State address in the coming weeks.

Hochul indicated the push against illegal guns will be part of her 2023 agenda as she concludes her first full year in office and begins a full, four-year term at the start of the year.

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Hochul: Loan repayment will help recruit mental health workers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state is providing $9 million in loan repayments for mental health care workers in an effort to recruit and retain psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced.

The money is part of a program meant to provide repayments of up to $120,000 for psychiatrists and $30,000 for psychiatric nurse practitioners. They must remain employed by licensed community mental health programs for three years in order to qualify.

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Supporters disappointed by Hochul's veto of study for group homes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Proponents of a measure that would have studied the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on adult group homes in New York were disappointed after Gov. Kathy Hochul vetoed the legislation.

The bill was among the dozens of measures Hochul vetoed last week, many of which created task forces to study an array of issues.

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Mohonasen superintendent: Schools need SED funds to replace mascots by deadline

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Some New York public school districts say they'll need additional funding from the state Education Department to meet a department deadline to replace their Native American mascots by the end of the academic year.

The department published a memo late last week mandating dozens of New York school districts with Native American mascots, logos and related imagery to change them by the end of the 2022-23 school year or forego future state aid.

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Clock starts on the Adult Survivors Act lookback window on Thursday

BY Tim Williams and Casey Bortnick New York State

Despite the holiday, the clock starts ticking on Thursday for sexual abuse survivors to file civil claims under the Adult Survivors Act’s lookback window.

Starting Thursday, survivors of sexual abuse who are or were over the age of 18 when the abuse occurred can file a civil lawsuit against their abuser or an institution. The lookback window follows the model set in the Child Victims Act, which was passed in 2019, and allows survivors to file claims in cases that are outside the statute of limitations. The lookback window only lasts for one year and is scheduled to begin on Thursday.

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Rep.-elect Brandon Williams prepares to represent Central New York in D.C.

BY Tim Williams and Casey Bortnick New York State

After a tight election which was decided by a percentage point, Brandon Williams is headed to Washington to represent the Syracuse region in Congress. The Republican congressman-elect told Capital Tonight that he will prioritize the cost of energy, farmers and reindustrializing Central New York.

Williams credits an authentic message on his concern about the direction of the country and his political newcomer status that helped him tackle strong primary and general election opponents. Williams does admit the final outcome of the race was closer than he and his campaign had expected.

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Hochul will pick from 7 candidates for top New York judge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

It's one of the potentially most consequential decisions Gov. Kathy Hochul has to make in the coming weeks: Who should lead New York's top court and its court system?

The state Commission on Judicial Nomination on Wednesday submitted seven candidates for Hochul to choose from for a nomination to the state Senate. By law, her nomination will be made between Dec. 8 and Dec. 23.

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Hochul makes final nominee to New York's new ethics panel

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The third and final nomination for Gov. Kathy Hochul to New York's new ethics and lobbying regulator was announced Wednesday as the new commission seeks to get to full strength after being formed earlier this year.

Hochul has nominated attorney Kaylin Whittingham to serve on the Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government, the successor entity to the now-defunct Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

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New law will strengthen background checks for child advocacy centers in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Child advocacy centers in New York will be able to conduct background checks on current or incoming employees using a child abuse and maltreatment registry maintained by the state under a law approved by Gov. Kathy Hochul this week.

The measure is meant to address the lack of access to the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Previously, only county-run child advocacy centers can access the register. The new law will extend that access to non-profit centers.

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Hochul approves measure to prevent medical debt garnishment

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Health care providers will be preventing from placing liens on homes or garnishing wages in order to collect outstanding medical debt under a law approved Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The measure is meant to address the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have been sued for medical debt owed over the last five years. The problem is considered especially pervasive in upstate New York, Hochul's office said.

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Calls for accountability in New York unemployment fraud grow

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A business-allied organization is calling for a legislative hearing to further assess the $11 billion in estimated fraud found in New York's unemployment system during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, meanwhile, in her first public comments Tuesday about the audit from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office, pledged to address the issue and indicated it would rolled into a broader effort to assess the decisions made during the early weeks and months of the pandemic.

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Analysis: Environmental groups hail cryptomining pause for New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Environmental organizations in New York on Tuesday evening cheered the approval by Gov. Kathy Hochul of the first-ever moratorium on a process key to the volatile cryptocurrency sector.

But the crypto industry, while expressing a desire to continue to press their concerns in the state Legislature, indicated it may simply leave New York for states that are friendlier.

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Panel: Permanent minimum wage hike, Clean Slate Act will address workforce gap

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Lawmakers are making their list of priorities to address the workforce shortage, like subsidies for childcare, legislating a permanent minimum wage increase and passing the Clean Slate Act.

Assemblymembers in the Labor Committee and the chamber's Emerging Workforce Subcommittee held a public hearing in Albany to address the ongoing labor gap and focus on solutions to address issues burdening the market. New York continues to lag behind other U.S. states in recovery from job losses caused by the pandemic, but especially in work that's low-pay and that can't be done remotely.

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WNY governments still figuring cost of snowstorm

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The lake-effect snow event has come and gone, but Buffalo's commissioner of public works, Nate Marton, says there's still plenty to do — especially in the hardest hit southern portions of the city.

"In this area of the city it's not a plowing operation, it is a snow removal operation," said Marton. "Scoop by scoop, this heavy dense snow into a dump truck and then hauling it away to dump it. So it's a tedious process but it's something we're working on.”

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New York Sen. Brad Hoylman: Club Q massacre shows need for educating tolerance in schools

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The murders in Colorado Springs at Club Q over the weekend were as unsurprising as they were horrific. The killer’s precise motives have not yet been reported, but he’s being charged with hate crimes against the LGBTQ community.

New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, discussed two pertinent bills he’s carrying with Capital Tonight: One bill requires schools in the state to add LGBTQ “awareness” to the curriculum, and one which addresses transgender rights.

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Hochul signs 2-year partial moratorium on cryptomining in New York

BY Luke Parsnow and Capital Tonight Staff New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed into law a two-year moratorium on issuing or renewing air permits for one narrow form of cryptocurrency mining that the state Legislature passed earlier this year.

The new law only applies to what's called behind-the-meter mining that uses carbon-based fuel and proof-of-work validation methods.

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Could public financing get big money out of New York politics?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican former state Assemblyman Brian Kolb was among the lawmakers who voted against creating a system of publicly financed campaigns.

Now, he's one of the officials, along with Democratic former Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, overseeing the new system coming online.

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Hochul says she won't change her approach to public safety

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Crime will remain the "number one priority" for Gov. Kathy Hochul heading into the new year, as the newly elected governor is showing no indication she will change her approach to the thorny political issue that was a sore point in the bruising campaign season.

"I don't have to change my stance on crime one bit," Hochul told reporters on Tuesday after touring a food bank outside of Albany.

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Hochul has plans to build Democratic Party, recruit new candidates

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

In the days after the election, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has faced questions over whether she will replace the chairman of the state Democratic Committee, Jay Jacobs, after a less-than-great showing for the party on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley.

Hochul's answer on Tuesday: She's the leader of the New York Democrats.

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New York's pension fund dipped in value amid volatile market

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's common retirement fund has lost billions of dollars in value since April, a reflection of the ongoing troubles facing the financial markets.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Tuesday announced the fund was valued at $232.2 billion at the end of the second fiscal quarter on Sept. 30, posting a negative rate of return at 3.85%. Still, despite the ongoing challenges, DiNapoli said the fund remains built to withstand the economic uncertainty.

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New law will prevent homeowners associations from banning EV chargers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Homeowners associations in New York will not be able to prevent the installation of electric vehicle charging stations on private property under a law approved Tuesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The measure is meant to make it easier for homeowners to install the charging statiosn as New York seeks to transition to more renewable forms of energy and phase out gas-powered vehicles by the next decade.

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Ethics groups want New York's new lobbying watchdog fully appointed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The clock is ticking on the remainder of 2022, and New York's new lobbying and ethics regulator is yet to be at full strength.

The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Goverment, the successor organization to the oft-criticized and now-defunct Joint Commission on Public Ethics, was officially formed earlier this year. But four seats on the panel, charged with overseeing lobbying rules and ethics in government, remain unfilled.

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'Clean Slate' supporters renew effort for criminal record sealing in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Supporters of a measure that would seal criminal conviction records in New York are making a renewed effort to have the stalled legislation gain passage in the Democratic-controlled state Legislature this year after a campaign season that heavily focused on criminal justice law changes in New York.

The bill would seal criminal records several years after conviction and is meant to boost employment and housing opportunities for people who have finished their sentences. But the measure, known as the Clean Slate Act, has been sought for the last several years in Albany, but last-minute opposition has doomed its chances of passage.

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Newly elected New York Republicans prepare for next Congress

BY Kevin Frey New York State

Republicans managed to flip four congressional seats in New York this midterm — a big and surprising pickup in a mostly lackluster election for the party nationally.

While New York Democrats in Congress are seeking answers as to what went wrong for their candidates, these newly elected Republicans have their own ideas about what went right.

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Look-back window for adult sex-abuse survivors starts Thursday in New York

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Lawmakers are pushing for more resources for the New York State Office of Court Administration to strengthen the system in preparation for an influx of cases with this week's opening of the one-year look-back window for adult survivors of sexual assault.

Starting Thursday, or Thanksgiving Day, adult survivors of sexual abuse can file civil lawsuits against their abusers, regardless if the statute of limitations has expired, under the Adult Survivors Act for past abuse that happened after the age of 18.

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FEMA declaration issued for New York counties dealing with snowstorm

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Western New York continues to dig out of the snow after some areas got nearly seven feet over the last several days.

"Everybody's snowed in but everybody is chipping in, helping out with each other and checking in on friends and neighbors to ensure that everything is OK," U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins said.

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New York comptroller thinks $11B in unemployment fraud 'could have been avoided'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In February 2021, the New York state Department of Labor under Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a press release lauding the roll-out of a new anti-identity theft software program called “ID.me." The sub-headline stated, “Since the start of the pandemic, New York State has prevented more than $6.4 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits…”

Fast-forward to November 2022.

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Democrats set to keep supermajorities in state Senate, Assembly

BY Zack Fink New York State

Despite what many consider a bad night for New York Democrats in the House of Representatives this past Election Day, the Democratic contingents in both the state Senate and Assembly are poised to maintain their supermajority status.

Holding onto a supermajority of two-thirds of each chamber enables lawmakers to reject a potential veto by the governor, tipping the balance of power in Albany in favor of the two chambers.

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Why advocates want to expand New York's bottle deposit law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A renewed effort to expand New York's bottle deposit law for the first time in years is taking shape in Albany. For advocates like Erica Smitka of the League of Women Voters, the proposal won't just combat litter.

"We will persist until more is done to reduce litter in this state and to reduce the effects from climate change," she said during a news conference on Monday in Albany.

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28 cannabis retailers across New York get green light with first licenses

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Twenty-eight businesses across the state can start selling recreational marijuana after state regulators Monday approved New York's first retail licenses for cannabis dispensaries to meet a goal for the first sales by the end of the year.

Members of the Cannabis Control Board approved licenses under the state Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary license program for 28 people and eight licenses for nonprofit organizations at Monday's meeting in New York City.

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New York lawmaker wants to encourage 'made in America' shopping on Cyber Monday

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A New York state lawmaker is trying to encourage more people to buy American-made products and wants to enlist large online retailers this holiday season.

Republican Mark Walczyk, a North Country Republican who is currently in the state Assembly and was elected to a state Senate seat this month, is urging Amazon to create a "Made in the U.S.A" filter on its website ahead of Cyber Monday.

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How sound is New York's budget? Depends on who you ask

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Is New York's state budget in good or bad shape? How to view it, ultimately, may come down to who you listen to.

For Republicans, the budget is beset with pressure from inflation and other global problems that will squeeze taxpayers. Progressives are taking a more optimistic approach, pointing to better-than-expected revenue from taxes amid a shaky worldwide economy.

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Hochul: Police on alert for potential hate crimes following threats against Jewish community, shooting at Colorado LGBTQ club

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York State Police are expanding surveillance and protection for at-risk communities after a thwarted attack on New York City Jewish communities and a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said.

State Police officials will be working with local and federal law enforcement officials to increase security for communities that have been targeted for hate crimes, Hochul said.

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Redistricting commissioners start Assembly maps, say they'll make court deadline

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Members of the state Redistricting Commission have started work on new state Assembly district lines due in fewer than two weeks after a shakeup in the group's leadership.

Commissioners plan to meet Dec. 1 — a day before the draft of those new maps are due, to vote to accept the plan so public hearings can be held around the state early next year. They're using much of the Assembly districts they agreed on earlier this year, and say they're on track to meet the Dec. 2 deadline.

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Brennan Center: 100 mega donors outspent everyone else this election cycle

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

One of the stories to emerge from the midterm elections is just how much mega donors shaped some of the highest profile races. For example, one man, cosmetics titan Ronald Lauder, was responsible for spending $11 million on behalf of Republican candidate for New York governor Lee Zeldin.

Another rich New Yorker, James Dolan, owner of Madison Square Garden, spent millions on behalf of Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

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Why advocates want more oversight at New York nursing homes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Advocates for older and vulnerable New Yorkers say more funding is needed for an oversight program at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

More than half of the nursing homes and long-term care facilities in New York have not received a visit from a member of the state's ombudsman program so far this year. It's a problem the needs to be addressed, said Bill Ferris, the legislative representative for AARP New York.

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Hakeem Jeffries announces bid to replace Pelosi as House Democratic leader

BY Kevin Frey , Associated Press and Ryan Chatelain Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 6:38 PM ET Nov. 18, 2022

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on Friday officially tossed his name into the race to replace Nancy Pelosi as Democratic House leader, writing a letter to colleagues asking for their support.

"When I initially sought the position of Chair of the House Democratic Caucus two terms ago, none of us could have predicted the challenges the American people would confront in the years to come," Jeffries wrote. "However, time and time again, throughout a period of enormous turmoil for our nation, House Democrats rose to the occasion.

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Childhood mental health programs to get boost in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Community-based service organizations will receive more than $3.3 million to provide mental health programs for children and families, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Friday announced.

The money, part of a federal aid package, will benefit programs for young people who are diagnosed with mental illness and a developmental disability or substance use disorder.

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Hochul: Nutrition assistance will reach maximum level for November

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York households that receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are set to once again receive the maximum allowable aid this month, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Friday announced.

The additional aid means a household of four people receiving $939 a month will see an additional payment of at least $95, Hochul's office said.

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NY education officials: End Native American mascots or risk state aid

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

School districts in New York state that do not change their Native American-themed mascots are at risk of losing state aid or having their officials removed, the state Education Department this week announced in a new guidance.

Top education officials in New York are reiterating their opposition to the use of Native American images and mascots for schools amid an ongoing legal battle with the Cambridge Central School District in Washington County.

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Gillibrand wants more funding for nutritional program for older Americans

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants nearly $2 billion in funding for nutritional programs meant to benefit older Americans.

Gillibrand is calling for funding for the program as it turns 50 and has provided food and nutritional services for senior centers, home deliveries and funding for local agencies.

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Wrongful death expansion backed by caucus lawmakers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A debate over the fate of a measure to expand New York's wrongful death statute is heating up as the measure heads to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for her consideration.

The measure would allow a person to bring a wrongful death claim based on emotional suffering and anguish, going beyond the current law's requirement to show only financial losses because of a loved one's death.

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Criminal justice debate shifts to sentencing law changes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Advocates who have called for changes to New York's criminal justice system are starting a new effort to overhaul how people are sentenced to prison.

They are seeking the approval of a trio of bills that, broadly, are meant to eliminate many mandatory minimum sentences, allow for resentencing in some instances and allow for earned time in prison to result in early release.

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What’s next for Sens. Hinchey, Serino after close contest

BY Kate Lisa New York State

In a close race to represent a newly redrawn Hudson Valley state Senate seat, freshman state Senator Michelle Hinchey defeated fellow incumbent Sue Serino who was seeking a fifth term.

The state’s redistricting process shifted the 41st Senate District to the east and south with slightly more Democratic voters, and pit Hinchey against Serino, a Republican from Hyde Park.

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Latimer: Westchester is the 'blue wall' of the downstate suburbs

BY Susan Arbetter City of Albany

While there has been a lot of discussion about a red wave in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island, there are signs that Westchester County has become something of a blue wall.

Statewide, Gov. Kathy Hochul won office by a 5.8% margin. In Westchester, it appears that, unofficially (some absentee ballots have yet to be counted), she won by a 20-point margin, or just over 67,000 votes.

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New York's largest offshore wind farm takes key step

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York regulators have granted approval for a 25-mile transmission that will carry power from the state's largest offshore wind farm to a substation in Suffolk County, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Thursday announced.

The transmission line approval by the New York State Public Service Commission is an important development for the proposed Sunrise Wind Farm off the coast of Long Island.

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New York's unemployment rate ticks back up as labor participation grows

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York added 3,700 jobs in the private sector last month, but the unemployment rate ticked upward in October, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

The state unemployment rate grew from 4.3% in September to 4.4%. The national unemployment rate in October stood lower than New York at 3.7%.

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Hochul's top budget advisor is departing

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Robert Mujica, the long serving budget director for two governors, is stepping down at the end of the year, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office on Thursday confirmed.

Mujica will lead Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board and will make the transition by the end of the year, Hochul’s office said.

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New York's top court upholds pay raise panel for state lawmakers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A mechanism for granting state lawmakers their first salary increases in decades was upheld by New York's highest court in a ruling handed down Thursday morning.

The lawsuit, first filed in 2018, challenged whether state lawmakers and the governor could throw the decision for pay raises for all 213 members of the New York Senate and Assembly to an appointed commission.

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Business, labor coalition seeks to strengthen New York horse racing industry

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

An effort to strengthen New York's $3 billion horse racing industry is moving forward on Thursday with a coalition of business groups, trade organizations and labor unions ramping up its efforts to aid the sport.

The groups, part of the We Are New York Horse Racing campaign, will launch an effort to push for bonding authority for the New York Racing Association in order to renovate Belmont Park in Nassau County, home of the Belmont Stakes and the third and final leg of racing's triple crown. But the organizations are also framing it as a broader call to boost the sport statewide.

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Advocates, lawmakers push for billions in funding to fight climate change

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Advocates and lawmakers rallied in eight cities Wednesday to unveil legislation and invest billions of dollars for the state to meet its legally required reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint under the Climate Act.

They're pushing for lawmakers to prioritize several bills in NY Renews' Climate, Jobs and Justice Package to help the state transition to a green economy, protect air and water, create jobs and more to satisfy its climate goals.

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Schumer, poised for two more years as majority leader, faces GOP roadblock

BY Kevin Frey New York State

Sen. Chuck Schumer is teed up for another two years as the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate after the Democrats managed to keep their majority in the midterm elections.

While getting legislation to the finish line was often a struggle in the past two years due to the evenly split Senate, the next two years in Congress could amount to a legislative headache for the Brooklyn Democrat.

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Democrats look within following election losses in New York

BY Susan Arbetter and Tim Williams New York State

Despite a nationwide “red ripple," the Republican Party was able to gain some key congressional seats in New York which helped pave the way to a small House majority.

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Bronx Democrat who will be leaving office in January, is one of a growing number of Democrats looking for change at the top of her own party following the midterm elections. Biaggi told Capital Tonight that a lack of strategy and long-term vision by the party’s current chair, Jay Jacobs, led to the party’s defeats in New York.

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New York lawmakers, small business owners call unemployment fraud audit 'jaw dropping'

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Scammers made off with an estimated $11 billion in fraudulent unemployment payments, and small business owners in New York are, in part, carrying the burden.

"You can't function that way and the state can't function that way," said Rod Dion, the owner of an office furniture supply business in Cohoes outside of Albany. "To just blow that kind of money, it's just mind boggling if you think about it."

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Republican Brandon Williams wins competitive open race to succeed Katko in NY-22; Francis Conole concedes

BY Luke Parsnow Central NY
UPDATED 6:59 PM ET Nov. 16, 2022

Republican Brandon Williams will represent Central New York in the House of Representatives after defeating Democrat Francis Conole in the race for New York's 22nd Congressional District, the Associated Press projected late Monday, concluding one of the most closely watched competitive contests in the state and nation.

The software company founder and U.S. Navy veteran will succeed Republican Rep. John Katko in Congress, keeping the seat in Republican hands and once again dashing Democrats’ hopes of flipping the Syracuse-based district to their column.

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27 votes separate candidates in CNY state Senate race, will go to automatic recount

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

An automatic recount will take place in Central New York's 50th state Senate district after unofficial vote tallies show Democratic incumbent John Mannion leading his Republican challenger Rebecca Shiroff by only 27 votes.

The race is one of a handful of unresolved elections in the state Senate, where Democrats hold a supermajority over Republicans. If Mannion is victorious, Democrats could retain 42 seats in the 63-seat chamber.

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New York Senate appoints deputy Westchester County exec to state's redistricting commission

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins appointed Deputy Westchester County Executive Ken Jenkins on Wednesday to fill an open seat on the state's Independent Redistricting Commission following the abrupt resignation of the commission chair.

Jenkins, a Democrat, is a former county legislator and Westchester County Board of Legislators chairman and candidate for county executive. He lives in the Senate District represented by Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat from Yonkers.

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Report shows small fraction of New Yorkers screen lung cancer

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Few New Yorkers eligible for lung cancer screenings receive one, and Black residents are least likely to receive an early diagnosis, a report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association found.

The report, nevertheless, found there has been progress for lung cancer survival, with a survival rate of now 25%, an increase of 21% between 2014 and 2018.

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New York sales tax revenue continues growth

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax revenue continued to grow in New York despite gas tax holidays at the local level in full swing — a sign that inflation continues to play a role in the prices consumers are paying.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapol's office on Wednesday announced sales tax collections increased by 14.1% in October compared to the same time a year ago.

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Report finds New York home to largest income gap in U.S.

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state hosts the highest concentration of wealth in the United States and has the largest gap between rich and poor, a report released this month by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found.

The report, highlighted by the progressive Fiscal Policy Institute, could have broader implications ahead of the coming state budget season as lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul consider whether to further increase taxes on wealthier New Yorkers ahead of a potential economic downturn.

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Hochul urged to approve law to strengthen spending oversight

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill awaiting Gov. Kathy Hochul's consideration would make key changes to a little known, but important spending oversight board -- and a coalition of government watchdog organizations is urging her to sign it.

The measure would repeal a change made during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administation to the Public Authorities Control Board, an obscure but powerful board that holds sway over important projects. If approved, the law would prevent the removal of members of the board by the governor and broaden the scope of their powers beyond the consideration of whether there is enough money to fund a project.

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Outgoing redistricting chair: NY map process 'must be changed'

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York State Senate leadership will appoint a new member to the state's Independent Redistricting Commission in the coming days as the commission chair prepares to step down.

David Imamura, an attorney at Abrams Fensterman LLP, announced Tuesday he will resign from the 10-member bipartisan commission to campaign for a Westchester County Legislature seat. He's chaired the commission for the last two years.

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New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on 2022 elections

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says she’ll be happy even if her Democratic conference loses its supermajority status.

“I love the fact that we were the biggest majority, the only supermajority in history, and should we not have 43, 42 again, we’ll still be the second largest, so it’s fine,” she told Capital Tonight Tuesday.

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New York lawmakers seek gas tax holiday extension

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Earlier this year, state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul agreed to suspending the collection of about 17 cents per gallon in gas taxes. But as gas prices tick back up, there are bipartisan calls from state lawmakers to extend a suspension of New York's gas tax.

The question is how far lawmakers want to go.

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Federal appeals court reinstates key provisions of New York concealed carry law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A three-judge panel on Tuesday moved to reinstate the enforcement of multiple provisions of New York's concealed carry law amid an ongoing legal challenge that has turned into a seesaw battle over injunctions.

The development at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit means the enforcement of the law which took effect in September placing new requirements on obtaining a concealed carry license in the state as well as limitations on where guns can be taken in public will go back into effect during the legal challenge.

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New York's public campaign financing system takes shape

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The long-sought goal of having political campaigns in New York state be partially funded with public money is falling into place with the launch of the new public campaign financing program this month at the state Board of Elections.

Good-government advocates have hoped the system, which will allow direct contributions of between $5 and $250 to be matched with public funds, will create a sea change in how campaigns are funded in New York. But with the rise of independent expenditure campaigns backed by a handful of wealthy people, it's possible the system could be subsumed by unlimited funds still flowing into the political system.

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New York receives $21M to help resettle refugees from Ukraine

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state is receiving $21.4 million from the federal government to help with the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees who have left their country following the invasion by Russia earlier this year.

The money will be sent to 17 refugee services providers in New York to aid displaced Ukrainians who are living in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday.

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Poor oversight led to fraud in New York unemployment system, audit finds

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Billions of dollars in improper and fraudulent payments by New York's unemployment system were made during the COVID-19 pandemic due to weak oversight and a failure to make needed updates to how money is sent to people in genuine need, according to an audit released Tuesday by the state comptroller's office.

The audit pointed to more than a decade of state Department of Labor officials not providing needed updates to an aging unemployment system despite warnings dating back to 2010 and identified in 2015 audit.

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Millions in federal aid for clean air programs coming to Albany, Onondaga County, beyond

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state is set to receive more than $3.3 million in federal aid to boost clean air programs and monitoring, the state's two U.S. senators announced Monday.

The money is coming from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and draws on both federal pandemic relief funding as well as money approved this summer meant to curtail the effects of climate change.

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Hochul faces renewed veto calls for expansion of wrongful death law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A proposal to expand and update New York's century-old wrongful death law to include emotional anguish has become the subject of renewed lobbying in Albany before the bill heads to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for final consideration.

The measure, approved earlier this year by the Democratic-controlled state Legislature, is meant to provide an update to the existing wrongful death statutes and, supporters argue, put New York in line with other states that have similar emotional anguish measures on the books.

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Some newly elected New York Republicans not rushing to embrace Trump

BY Kevin Frey New York State

Former President Donald Trump appears ready to launch another bid for president, promising an announcement on Tuesday.

However, not all Republicans from New York — including some of those who just got elected to Congress in formerly Democratic seats — are racing to embrace him.

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Groups urge state ethics watchdog to probe $5M Cuomo book approval, failed policies

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Good-government groups want the new state ethics commission to learn from the mistakes of its predecessor, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which was disbanded this summer.

Common Cause New York, New York Public Interest Research Group, Reinvent Albany and Citizens Union of the City of New York sent a letter to the new state Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, pushing its members to revisit the decisions that led to the approval of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $5 million book deal and the policies of the former corrupt ethics agency.

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CBCNY: New York's mid-year budget picture not as bad as expected

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Hochul administration released its mid-year update to the enacted budget last week.

According to Patrick Orecki, director of State Studies for the Citizen’s Budget Commission (CBCNY), the November update is particularly important because it serves as the final guidepost before the executive budget is released in January.

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What an economic downturn could mean for New York's budget — and New Yorkers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than a decade ago, the administration of New York Gov. David Paterson was consumed by the global recession and fiscal crisis that spared no one, including the state's main economic engine on Wall Street.

A dozen or so years later, officials and budget analysts have taken away different lessons from Paterson's efforts, and subsequently Andrew Cuomo's budgets, to right the state's fiscal ship.

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Hochul says she wants to unify New York Democrats amid calls for chair's ouster

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul continued to defend embattled state Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs amid calls for him to step down after disappointing election results in a handful of key U.S. House races in New York.

But Hochul also on Monday during a stop in Buffalo signaled she wants to unify the occasionally fractious Democratic Party in New York going forward.

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New York attorney general warns online ammo dealers to comply with SAFE Act

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Dozens of online ammunition dealers are making illegal shipments to New York residents and not keeping records of the transactions, state Attorney General Letitia James on Monday said.

A review by James' office found 39 dealers have been shipping directly to state residents, violating the 2013 gun law known as the SAFE Act.

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