Disability cap hike out of N.Y. budget as pols lament health cuts

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Increases to the state's disability benefits cap were removed from New York's $237 billion budget during negotiations to the dismay of lawmakers.

Workers in New York who need short-term disability can receive a maximum benefit of $170 per week, which hasn't changed in 35 years, or since 1989.

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Fiscal Policy Institute shares analysis of state budget

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

As lawmakers vote on the remaining budget bills, the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Nathan Gusdorf joined Capital Tonight to share an early analysis of the budget that will be in place for the next fiscal year.



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Lawmakers have mixed feelings on issues of affordability, public safety in budget

BY Jack Arpey Albany/Capital Region

With the budget process seemingly wrapping up, lawmakers are beginning to reflect on what was accomplished and what is still left to do.

While Democrats control both houses of the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion, this year’s budget process demonstrated that there is enough differences among those lawmakers to hold up the process for nearly three weeks.

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Environmentalists push for packaging reform in New York ahead of Earth Day

BY Tim Williams Albany/Capital Region

A new analysis from the Alliance for the Great Lakes found that over two decades, nearly 90% of the litter collected from the beaches was composed of plastic.

Environmentalists have been sounding the alarm about plastic pollution in the environment for years and in New York, they are pushing for legislation on the issue.

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Economist says New York made bad bet on Tesla

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -– Tesla plans to layoff 285 employees in Buffalo, the vast majority of which work at its South Buffalo gigafactory.

Empire Center for Public Policy Research Director Ken Girardin is not surprised.

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Live Updates: Full jury set for Trump hush money trial after alternates picked

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press New York City
UPDATED 2:42 PM ET Apr. 19, 2024

The full panel of twelve jurors and six alternates have been selected for the hush money trial against Donald Trump, signaling that the first criminal case against a former president in U.S. history will soon move into its next phase.

Trump faces 34 charges of falsifying business records around purported efforts to cover up his alleged infidelity with an adult film actress during his 2016 presidential campaign. The former president has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

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Budget includes measures to crack down on illegal cannabis shops, Hochul says

BY Patrick Adcroft New York City

Illegal cannabis shops and their landlords are set to face harsher enforcement and steeper fines under measures included in the state budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.

A five-point plan Hochul unveiled alongside Mayor Eric Adams in Manhattan will give the state’s Office of Cannabis Management and local authorities the power to padlock illegal shops.

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Who are the jurors in Donald Trump's hush money trial? Here's what we know

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City
UPDATED 11:15 AM ET Apr. 19, 2024

Twelve jurors tasked with deciding the outcome of former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial have been seated. The panel consists of seven men and five women.

Trump is facing 34 charges related to the alleged falsification of business records in connection with efforts to conceal an alleged affair during his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the affair.

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Early voting for NY-26 special election begins Saturday

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo
UPDATED 10:37 AM ET Apr. 19, 2024

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- New York's 26th Congressional District has been without a representative for more than two months.

When Democrat Brian Higgins stepped down in February to take over as president of Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, he said it was in fact Congress that had become more about dramatics then results. Both candidates who are vying to finish his term agree.

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N.Y. cannabis farmers blast pushback to expedite retail licenses

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Stakeholders in New York's cannabis industry are growing apart about how regulators must fix its dragging rollout as the state Office of Cannabis Management undergoes a state executive review.

The Cannabis Farmers Alliance on Wednesday blasted the Cannabis Association of New York in response to a letter that the organization sent to the Cannabis Control Board last week warning against the swift issuing of several more retail licenses. As part of its ongoing OCM review, the executive chamber is pressuring board members to expedite hundreds of retail licenses to defeat the state's thriving illicit market.

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Gov. Hochul announces a state budget deal — what made the cut?

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

This week Gov. Kathy Hochul announced she finally “had the parameters of a conceptual agreement” for the $237 billion state budget, claiming that only minor details need to be negotiated. Some lawmakers said they were caught off guard by the announcement. NY1 investigative reporter Courtney Gross, statehouse reporter Bernadette Hogan and political reporter Bobby Cuza discuss the reaction on the legislative side to Hochul’s announcement, as well as the issue of what’s in and what's out of the deal. They also touch on the mysterious cyberattack that was directed at the New York State Bill Drafting Commission that may delay matters even further.

After that, the commotion surrounding Donald Trump moved uptown this week when the former president visited a Harlem bodega while here in Manhattan for his hush money trial. Why was Trump in Harlem? And will this trial serve as an extended campaign stop for the Republican presidential candidate? The "Off Topic" team weighs in on the latest twists and turns of Trump’s stay in the city.

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Brooklyn Diocese reaches child sex abuse settlement with state attorney general

BY Rebecca Greenberg Brooklyn

After decades of what the state attorney general calls a mishandling of clergy sex abuse cases, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn agreed to install an independent secular monitor.

“There are many people like me out there. We know that there are not hundreds, but thousands in the state of New York,” Stephen Jimenez, a survivor of clergy sex abuse, said.

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N.Y. state budget to include pilot program for Daniel's Law

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York's $237 billion budget is expected to include a pilot program in Western New York to make local mental health professionals the default response to incidents involving mental health issues or substance use instead of law enforcement.

State lawmakers have passed four of 10 budget bills, and continued Thursday night to conference the details of the program, which will likely be confined to the city of Rochester for the initial pilot.

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Rep. Torres calls for reforms at HHS after mpox outbreak

BY Kevin Frey New York City
UPDATED 8:39 PM ET Apr. 18, 2024

New York Rep. Ritchie Torres is introducing legislation aimed at improving the federal government’s response to public health emergencies, citing shortcomings in how the feds handled an mpox outbreak two years ago.

Torres’s bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a department-wide strategy for after-action reviews of major health events, incorporating analysis from across the department’s various agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The review should include people from outside the department.

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Hochul celebrates retail theft policy win in state budget

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City

Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrated what she’s calling the first of several victories in her $237 billion budget package, announcing that a majority of her retail theft proposal will make it into the final plan.

“A lot of critics said we couldn’t get it done, that we’d fall short, that it would be a watered-down version, but I’m here to say we got it done exactly the way we had hoped for, because it’s something I would not budge on,” Hochul said on Thursday from her Manhattan office.

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From TAP expansion to expected operating funds, SUNY chancellor sees reason for optimism in state budget

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Facing a possible $1 billion deficit over the next decade without additional support from New York state, this budget cycle presented high stakes questions for leaders of the State University of New York system.

That picture became clearer with state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins telling reporters Thursday afternoon that the final budget is expected to include about $60 million in operating aid for SUNY. That’s $6 million more than what Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed in her executive budget.

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Rep. Claudia Tenney sponsors bipartisan bill to close sex abuse legal loophole

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney is teaming up with North Carolina Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross on a bill that aims to close a loophole in federal bankruptcy laws that impacts survivors of sexual abuse.

Tenney joined Capital Tonight on Thursday from Washington to discuss how the bill works and its chances of getting through the closely divided House of Representatives.

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New York man pleads guilty to sending threats to state attorney general and Trump civil case judge

BY Associated Press New York State

A New York man has pleaded guilty to sending death threats to the state attorney general and the Manhattan judge who presided over former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud case, prosecutors said Thursday.

Tyler Vogel, 26, of Lancaster, admitted to one felony count of making a terroristic threat and one misdemeanor count of making a threat of mass harm on Wednesday in state Supreme Court, according to Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Keane’s office.

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Biden to visit Central New York next week following Micron funding deal, Schumer says

BY Luke Parsnow Central NY
UPDATED 12:22 PM ET Apr. 18, 2024

President Joe Biden will visit Central New York next week on the heels of an announcement of funding for Micron, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Spectrum News 1 on Thursday.

The president's planned visit has no details at this time, but comes as Schumer announced that Micron has agreed to a preliminary deal that would unlock more than $6 billion in federal funding toward its chip-manufacturing plans in the region.

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Basil Seggos: New York’s environmental defender is stepping down 

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

For more than eight years, Basil Seggos had led the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, trying to help New York in its transition away from fossil fuels. Now leaving office, Seggos joined NY1’s Errol Louis to discuss New York’s pivotal 2019 climate law and his own tenure with two different governors. They also spoke about Seggos’ dramatic first day in office and his top priority for his successor.

Join the conversation, weigh in on Twitter using the hashtag #NY1YouDecide or give us a call at 212-379-3440 and leave a message. Or send an email to YourStoryNY1@charter.com.

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100th dispensary opens as N.Y. Office of Cannabis Management awaits executive review

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Leaders in the state Office of Cannabis Management on Wednesday celebrated the opening of the state's 100th legal dispensary — putting on a brave face as the governor's office works to finish a review of the troubled department and needed changes to get New York's recreational marijuana industry off the ground.

State and local officials attended the grand opening of Big Gas Dispensary LLC in New Paltz, Ulster County, where emotions ran high.

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Schumer announces $6B deal for Micron's chip-making projects

BY Spectrum News Staff Central NY

Micron has agreed to a preliminary deal that would unlock more than $6 billion in federal funding toward its chip-manufacturing plans in Central New York and beyond, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday evening.

Schumer's office said the company has agreed to a $6.1 billion preliminary memorandum of terms, or a PMT funding agreement, covering its Micron project in Clay, near Syracuse, and one in Idaho.

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Hochul says only minor details left to be negotiated in state budget

BY Deanna Garcia New York City

After announcing a conceptual agreement on the state budget earlier this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday that only minor details need to be negotiated.

Some lawmakers said they were caught off guard by the announcement of a deal. However, in an interview with NY1 political anchor Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall,” Hochul said she has done this type of agreement with her last two budgets.

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At the State Capitol: A late budget, an apparent cyberattack and another budget extender

BY Jack Arpey New York State

The New York state Legislature still hasn't voted on a state budget, despite Gov. Kathy Hochul announcing the "framework" of a conceptual agreement on Monday.

The governor has acknowledged that details still need to be ironed out, but it is still not clear when the budget process will be wrapped up. State senators meanwhile told reporters as they left conference for the day that they plan to pass another budget extender Thursday possibly bumping the budget deadline to next week.

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State Legislature hit by apparent cyberattack

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City
UPDATED 7:45 PM ET Apr. 17, 2024

State officials are investigating a major cyberattack on the government agency charged with drafting state budget bills.

The investigation comes as the Legislature and governor are finalizing the details of the $237 billion state budget.

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Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein discusses her campaign

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

While the presidential election is seven months away, the race is on to get enough petition signatures for third party candidates to get on the ballot here in the Empire State.

One of those candidates looking to make their mark this November is Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party's nominee in 2012 and 2016 who has a commanding lead in her party's primary for her third run.

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Democrats quickly end Homeland Security Sec. Mayorkas' impeachment trial on day 1

BY Joseph Konig Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 6:15 PM ET Apr. 17, 2024

Senate Democrats quickly dismissed impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, voting to rule each of the two impeachment charges unconstitutional on the trial's first day.

All Republicans voted no on the questions of dismissal, bar Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate who voted present on the first charge and voted against the second charge.

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Hochul discusses public safety measures, school funding in state budget deal with Spectrum News 1

BY Luke Parsnow and Marisa Jacques New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state’s residents want to see a state budget “that delivers for them” and says there is a lot in the conceptual agreement reached Monday between her and legislative leaders that those residents can be proud of.

The governor sat down with Capital Tonight on Tuesday to discuss some of the parameters of that agreement that includes public safety measures, record funding in education and a housing plan.

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N.Y. budget's next step: Lock down lawmakers' support

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York budget conversations in Albany are winding down — and that's how Gov. Kathy Hochul wants it after announcing a budget framework without details while lawmakers continue to discuss parts left unfinished.

State lawmakers on Wednesday are scheduled to conference remaining details of the the $237 billion Fiscal Year 2024-2025 budget, including parts of the housing package, mayoral control of New York City schools and proposed cuts to Medicaid programs.

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Conceptual K-12 education budget answers some questions, creates others for New York school districts

BY Jack Arpey New York State

One of the major topics this state budget cycle was K-12 education funding, and whether Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal to make changes to the Foundation Aid formula would survive the negotiating process after legislative leaders came out against it.

The governor announced a “conceptual” budget agreement Monday that she said commits $36 billion to education, the highest in state history.

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Tim Kennedy asks judge to take Nate McMurray off NY-26 primary ballot

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray submitted more than 1,400 designating petitions to the state Board of Elections as he pushes for ballot access in New York's 26th Congressional District primary in June, which would take place after the special election this month.

However, a lawsuit brought by his potential opponent, state Sen. Tim Kennedy, and a voter claimed, at best, 382 of the signatures McMurray submitted are valid. That would put the candidate well below the minimum of 1,250 needed.

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Speaker Carl Heastie agrees to ‘conceptual’ budget deal with Gov. Kathy Hochul

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City

After Gov. Kathy Hochul announced she struck a “conceptual” agreement on a $237 billion spending package on Monday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie appeared to back her up.

However, fellow Democrats in the state Legislature on Tuesday had various questions because they still had yet to discuss final details tied to big-ticket items like housing and health care.

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Progressive advocates call for higher taxes on high earners in New York

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

For many New Yorkers, tax day isn't a day to celebrate but advocates in New York state used the day to call for higher taxes on the highest earners here in the Empire State.

Michael Kink, the executive director of Strong Economy for All, joined Capital Tonight on Tax Day to talk about tax revenue and spending priorities.

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New York's high court to hear case on abortion insurance coverage

BY Associated Press New York State

New York’s highest court will hear arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that seeks to throw out a regulation requiring health insurance policies to cover medically necessary abortions — a case that could jeopardize a similar state law.

The lawsuit was filed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and other church groups that argue that the rule violates their religious beliefs.

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City Council creates new team to tackle migrant crisis

BY Kelly Mena New York City

Unhappy with Mayor Adams' response to the migrant crisis, the City Council is forming its own team of advisors who will draw up a blueprint to help the city deal with its thousands of newcomers.

The Council on Tuesday released a list of people and organizations that will comprise its “New Arrival Strategy Team" — which include former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messenger; former Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios Paoli; and Plachikkat Anatharam, who served in the Mayor’s office of Management and Budget for many years.

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Conceptual $237 billion state budget deal has housing plan, record education funding, public safety measures

BY Luke Parsnow , Spectrum News Staff and Bernadette Hogan New York State
UPDATED 10:27 PM ET Apr. 15, 2024

Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York legislative leaders have come to a preliminary agreement on the state budget that includes a comprehensive housing plan, record funding in education and increased emphasis on public safety measures, the governor said.

Lawmakers on Monday appeared to have found consensus on a spending plan worth $237 billion, which is up from $233 billion that the governor proposed at the start of the legislative session in January.

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Proposed Medicaid cuts hang in N.Y. budget balance

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a conceptual budget agreement Monday that outlined the state's $237 billion spending plan, but as negotiations continue, it was largely void of details of one of the state's greatest expenditures: Medicaid.

Hochul's announcement of the budget's framework comes before leaders have solidified a deal on health care spending and other pieces of a housing package. The Senate and Assembly conferenced the issues Monday night, and will have additional discussions Tuesday afternoon.

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Medical Society of the State of New York supports Medical Aid in Dying Act

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York’s proposed Medical Aid in Dying Act got the endorsement from the Medical Society of the State of New York, state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, who sponsors the legislation in that chamber, announced Monday.

The act would allow terminally ill, mentally capable adults who have been given six months or less to live to take their own lives with a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs.

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Former prosecutor provides insights into Trump jury selection

BY Spectrum News NY1 New York City

As the hush-money trial involving former President Donald Trump is poised to commence Monday in Manhattan, a former federal prosecutor on Monday shed light on the jury selection process set to unfold.

Step one in the trial is the task of handpicking an impartial jury, a task that Trump’s attorneys have argued would be difficult given the political atmosphere of New York City. However, their petitions to have the trial moved out of the city have repeatedly been rejected.

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Online tool shows only half of New Yorkers earning living wage

BY Shalon Stevens Syracuse
UPDATED 7:03 AM ET Apr. 15, 2024

A researcher from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations designed a free tool, The Wage Atlas Tool, that allows users to look at wage data by profession and different demographic variables. The tool shows that only half of New Yorkers are making a living wage.

Compassion Coalition is a non-profit that runs Bargain Grocery in Utica. He knows food insecurity is an issue across New York State.

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New York officials react to Iran launching drones and missiles toward Israel

BY Atlan Hassard and Associated Press New York City
UPDATED 5:30 PM ET Apr. 14, 2024

Several prominent New York officials expressed support for Israel Saturday night after Iran launched dozens of drones and ballistic missiles toward Israel.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the country's highest-ranking Jewish elected official, held a press conference Sunday to share details from a Saturday night call he had with top U.S. administration officials.

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New York Rep. Gregory Meeks worried about conflict between Israel and Iran

BY Noorulain Khawaja New York City

Booms and air raid sirens sounded in Israel Sunday after Iran confirmed that it launched an unprecented and extensive drone operation on the country.

Eric Goldstein, the CEO of the United Jewish Appeal⁣ – ⁣Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, was in Tel Aviv for a family wedding during the attack.

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Budget extenders keep New York's government running; lawmakers' pay on hold

BY Jack Arpey New York State

A fourth state budget extender was approved and signed, but a final deal proved elusive on Friday.

While the gears were turning and progress appeared to be made, the extenders are necessary to keep state government funded until whatever agreement is eventually reached makes its way through the legislative process.

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Report: Disadvantaged communities could see millions from proposed Climate Change Superfund Act

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Climate activists view the New York state budget as the best chance for passage of the Climate Change Superfund Act.

The bill (S.2129A Krueger/A.3351A Dinowitz) would force oil companies to help pay for damages caused by the climate crisis — damages that environmental justice communities have been dealing with for decades, in some cases.

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Manhattan court must find a dozen jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

BY Associated Press New York City

Of the 1.4 million adults who live in Manhattan, a dozen are soon to become the first Americans to sit in judgment of a former president charged with a crime.

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial among four criminal prosecutions of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The proceedings present a historic challenge for the court, the lawyers and the everyday citizens who find themselves in the jury pool.

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It’s go time for Trump’s criminal trial as Adams’ legal woes continue

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

For the first time in history, a former president will be sitting in a courtroom next week as a criminal defendant. NY1 investigative reporter Courtney Gross and political reporters Ayana Harry and Kelly Mena weigh in on the upcoming trial of Donald Trump and what we should expect in a Manhattan courtroom in the weeks ahead. They also discuss how the trial may set a precedent for his other upcoming criminal cases.

After that, the investigation into Mayor Adams’ campaign fundraising is once again making headlines. Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into upgrades the mayor received on flights with Turkish Airlines. Adams this week was asked by reporters about the investigation and continued to dodge questions. The "Off Topic" team looks at the investigation and also discussed why the administration is requesting elected officials fill out a seven-page form to get an audience with city commissioners.

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Alternative energy advocates battle National Fuel over NY HEAT Act

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Groups advocating for New York's transition to alternative energy sources are fighting back against what they say is National Fuel's outsized lobbying influence as state lawmakers consider legislation placing more restrictions and limitations on the market for carbon-based fossil fuels.

The Better Buildings NY Coalition is running digital advertisements in Buffalo criticizing the utility company for opposing the NY HEAT Act. The bill is aimed at moving the state toward its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by, among other things, eliminating ratepayer-subsidized incentives for the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, creating pathways for utilities to offer alternative options, and ensuring low-to-moderate income customers' bills are not more than 6% of their income.

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Interviews with NY1: Jamaal Bowman, George Latimer compete for Dem nomination in N.Y.'s 16th Congressional District

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

One of the nation’s fiercest congressional primaries this year is unfolding in a district that stretches from Co-op City in the Bronx to Elmsford in Central Westchester County.

There, in New York’s 16th Congressional District, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a longtime local elected Democrat, is trying to unseat two-term progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

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N.Y. budget to embolden local police to combat illegal cannabis shops

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York's final budget is expected to empower local law enforcement to independently padlock businesses that illegally sell cannabis to suppress thousands of illicit sales that burden its slow-growing legal market.

And a proposed fund to help distressed cannabis farmers remains on the negotiating table after advocates thought this week it was nixed from the final spending plan.

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Alcohol law changes under discussion as New York state budget negotiations continue

BY Jack Arpey New York State

New York is currently taking a look at state liquor laws that many criticize as being antiquated and harmful to businesses.

Some of that is up for discussion in the state budget, including a pandemic-era policy allowing restaurants to sell to-go cocktails that is scheduled to sunset next year. Another would allow bars and restaurants to purchase a limited quantity of liquor from a nearby store.

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Opposition to a single fiscal intermediary grows among disability rights community

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Advocates for people living with disabilities are continuing their effort to shut down a proposal that that would reform the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, or CDPAP.

While the program has had some challenges, including unethical providers using it for their own gain, advocates argue a late-breaking proposal to eliminate all providers, including the disability-led and disability-staffed Independent Living Centers, and turn over operations to a single Fiscal Intermediary (FI) would mean an upheaval of a program that helps hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with disabilities maintain independence in the community.

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Broker says real estate settlement will bring change but unclear how much

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The real estate industry, home buyers and sellers are currently waiting on a judge's approval of a settlement agreement reached last month.

The suit brought by sellers against the National Association of Realtors argued the current commission process violated anti-trust rules. NAR, with more than one million members, denies wrongdoing but agreed to pay $418 million and develop a new set of rules.

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U.S. Senate passes resolution calling for release of Rochester-area man from Taliban custody

BY Dana Damiani Washington, D.C.

After 609 days since he was detained by the Taliban, a resolution calling for Ryan Corbett’s immediate release was passed Thursday after both Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell introduced the bipartisan resolution.

Corbett had a business in Afghanistan and was going there to do some work when he was detained.

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says Trump's hush money criminal trial isn't about politics

BY Associated Press New York State

When he was elected two years ago as Manhattan’s first Black district attorney, Alvin Bragg spoke candidly about his unease with the job’s political demands. A former law professor, he’s more comfortable untangling complex legal questions than swaggering up to a podium.

But when the first of Donald Trump’s four criminal prosecutions heads to trial on Monday, about alleged hush money payments to cover up a sex scandal during the 2016 election, Bragg will be at the center of a political maelstrom with few precedents.

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New Yorker who fought for clean drinking water takes a victory lap over EPA's new rule

BY Spencer Conlin Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 10:36 AM ET Apr. 11, 2024

The Environmental Protection Agency for the first time is imposing a national limit on per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in drinking water, an issue many New Yorkers are unfortunately familar with.

The measure should reduce exposure for about 100 milion people and help prevent illnesses associated with the “forever chemicals,” including cancer. That's something those who have experienced contamination firsthand say is bittersweet news.

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Queens Democrats seek to clarify squatters having 'no rights' in New York

BY Bernadette Hogan Queens
UPDATED 9:15 AM ET Apr. 11, 2024

Although it is not part of budget talks, several high profile so-called squatter cases have landlords on high alert. Lawmakers are trying to pass additional legislation to keep squatters from dwelling in homes unlawfully.

“Owning a home, that's the American dream. But some people have turned it into the American nightmare, and we have to stop it,” state Sen. John Liu, a Queens Democrat, said in Flushing on Wednesday.

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Dozens of N.Y. lawmakers open to reject budget over housing

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Dozens of state Democratic lawmakers told housing advocates they will not support a state budget with a housing package that exempts certain tenants from stronger eviction protection laws or rollbacks to rent regulations passed in 2019.

As state leaders work on the state budget, now 10 days late, discussions to reach a housing deal continue to suck most of the air out of the negotiating room. State lawmakers up for election this fall are feeling a heightened urgency to finalize a deal to increase housing stock and strengthen tenant protections and rental assistance programs after major housing policy was removed from last year's budget.

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BPHA Caucus backs retirement parity in N.Y. budget for specialized police

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Members of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus are going to bat for members of the state Police Benevolent Association in the budget for the first time — showing a rare unity between downstate lawmakers and law enforcement.

PBA members, or the labor union that represents about 1,200 state parks police, ENCON officers, forest rangers and university police say it's time for Gov. Kathy Hochul to keep her promise and allow them to retire after 20 years like most other law enforcement across New York.

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School districts concerned as N.Y. budget negotiations drag on, Foundation Aid remains a question mark

BY Jack Arpey New York State

The late state budget is threatening to create challenges for schools, which are trying to finalize their own budgets that need voter approval.

Gov. Kathy Hochul indicated last week that plans were being made as part of a budget deal to ensure the Foundation Aid formula is updated by the passage of next year’s budget. That is expected to mean that the full impact of her initial plan to eliminate hold harmless, which ensures that districts don’t receive less Foundation Aid than the previous year, won’t be felt this year.

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New York Assembly Housing Committee chair Linda Rosenthal discusses division in emerging housing deal

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

There are a series of moving parts that all need to fit together before a housing deal comes together in Albany. These include tenant protections, a wage deal between developers and construction unions, a tax break for developers, the removal of density regulations and new allowances for office conversions.

One new hurdle is a demand by developers to roll back certain tenant protections that were passed into law in 2019.

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DocGo will remain upstate temporarily, despite pending end of NYC migrant contract

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Since New York City awarded DocGo a $432 million no-bid emergency contract last year to coordinate housing and services for migrants, the company has drawn significant controversy and scrutiny.

Mayor Eric Adams said the city will not renew the contract, which expires May 5. State Sen. Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, is among DocGo's many critics.

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New York appeals court rejects Donald Trump’s third request to delay Monday's hush money trial

BY Associated Press New York City
UPDATED 6:17 PM ET Apr. 10, 2024

Donald Trump is now 0 for 3 in last-minute attempts to get a New York appeals court to delay his looming hush money criminal trial. An appeals court judge Wednesday swiftly rejected the latest salvo from the former president’s lawyers, who argued he should be on the campaign trail rather than “in a courtroom defending himself” starting next week.

Trump's lawyers had asked the state’s mid-level appeals court to halt the case indefinitely while they fight to remove the trial judge and challenge several of his pretrial rulings, which they argue have seriously hindered the presumptive Republican nominee's defense.

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Last call for dry towns? New York weighs lifting post-Prohibition law that let towns keep booze bans

BY Associated Press New York State

New York towns and villages that have post-Prohibition bans on alcohol sales would be forced to lift such restrictions under a bill moving through the Legislature.

The bill, which is up for a state Senate vote after advancing out of a committee last week, would strike down a 1934 law passed right after Prohibition that allowed towns and cities to opt to stay dry.

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New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez to take new role leading Dormitory Authority

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez will take a new role as acting president and chief executive officer of the Dormitory Authority of the state of New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

The agency provides financing and construction services to public and private colleges and universities, non-profit health care facilities and other public institutions.

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Former Trump executive Allen Weisselberg sentenced to 5 months in jail for lying in civil fraud case

BY Associated Press New York City
UPDATED 10:20 AM ET Apr. 10, 2024

Allen Weisselberg, a retired executive in Donald Trump's real estate empire, was sentenced on Wednesday to five months in jail for lying under oath during his testimony in the civil fraud lawsuit brought against the former president by New York's attorney general.

Weisselberg, 76, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of perjury in connection with the suit. He admitted lying when he testified he had little knowledge of how Trump's Manhattan penthouse came to be valued on his financial statements at nearly three times its actual size.

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New York City to end its relationship with embattled migrant services contractor

BY Associated Press New York City
UPDATED 10:02 PM ET Apr. 09, 2024

New York City will move to end its contract with a medical services company hired to house and care for a recent influx of international migrants, following scrutiny over the firm's costly deal with the city and the quality of its humanitarian services.

Mayor Eric Adams' office on Tuesday said the city would not renew its contract with DocGo before it expires on May 5 and will instead search for a new housing provider for migrants.

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Bipartisan group to Hochul: Release $3M withheld from N.Y. veterans

BY Kate Lisa New York State
UPDATED 9:56 PM ET Apr. 09, 2024

A bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday demanded Gov. Kathy Hochul release millions of dollars donated to New York veterans that continues to languish in state coffers.

Lawmakers are furious the state continues to withhold more than $3 million in tax check-off donations for services that benefit veterans from years ago — revealed in a January analysis by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office that showed the state has not disbursed more than $13 million in personal income tax check-offs.

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'Family Miranda' bills regarding CPS are again in the mix in Albany

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York advocates are pushing for passage of two bills sponsored by state Sen. Jabari Brisport and Assemblymember Latrice Walker that would change the dynamic between Child Protective Services (CPS) and families being investigated by the agency.

The first bill, known colloquially as “The Family Miranda Act” (S190 – Brisport/A1980 - Walker), would require that parents be informed of their legal rights before the start of any CPS investigation.

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329 New York political candidates are certified for matching public campaign funds

BY Ryan Whalen Albany

The New York state Public Campaign Finance Board has certified 329 candidates this election cycle for the state's new matching funds program.

It went into effect Nov. 9, 2022 but the upcoming elections will be the first in which candidates can put the money to use. State Board of Elections Director of Public Information Kathleen McGrath said they had to register a committee, apply and be certified by Feb. 26 in order to qualify this year.

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Dem PAC reserves $21M in ads across N.Y. in bid to win back control of House

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

The Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC is reserving roughly $21 million worth of TV ad buys across New York ahead of the November elections.

The move comes as the Empire State could be make or break for Democrats in their push to win back control of the U.S. House. Losses in congressional districts across New York in 2022 helped cost the party the majority.

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FASNY calls on state lawmakers to help with recruitment

BY Brianne Roesser City of Buffalo

The need for volunteer firefighters in New York state is getting dire, according to President of the Firefighters Association of New York State (FASNY) Edward Tase.

He says recruitment efforts are critically low and that they have lost 4,100 volunteers in the last two years.

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New York advocates make final budget push for social media reform regarding children

BY Ryan Whalen New York State

Twenty-six organizations across New York state have issued a memorandum of support for two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting children on social media as final budget negotiations continue.

The organizations, which include New York State United Teachers, the National Alliance on Mental Illness NY, the state School Boards Association, various Urban League branches and other organized labor, say the state Legislature should act now to pass the "Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act" and the "Child Data Protection Act."

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Appeals court rejects Trump's latest attempt to delay April 15 hush money criminal trial

BY Associated Press New York City

A New York appeals court judge Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s latest bid to delay his hush money criminal trial while he fights a gag order, clearing the way for jury selection to begin next week.

Justice Cynthia Kern’s ruling is yet another loss for Trump, who has tried repeatedly to get the trial postponed.

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Push to get NY HEAT Act in state budget as negotiations continue

BY Jack Arpey New York State

As budget negotiations continue behind closed doors, advocates are rallying in hopes they can still push their priority investments across the finish line.

One of those is the NY HEAT Act. The bill is intended to limit costs to customers as New York state transitions away from natural gas, while protecting them from predatory practices.

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N.Y. lawmakers celebrate eclipse as darkness mars late state budget

BY Kate Lisa New York State

When Monday's solar eclipse peaked in New York, state lawmakers in Albany stood together and lifted their voices in song — marking a rare moment of levity amid ongoing budget negotiations as the multi-billion-dollar spending plan remains unfinished more than a week past the deadline.

Lawmakers consumed by budget talks briefly left the state Capitol at around 3 p.m. Monday to join hundreds of people in the Empire State Plaza to view the historic solar eclipse. The sky turned completely dark in parts of upstate along the 124-mile path of totality, including Western New York and the Adirondacks, which peaked just before 3:30 p.m.

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Top state Democrats disagree over whether increased penalties deter crime

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State

Mayor Eric Adams has inserted himself into a debate over whether raising penalties deters crime, as lawmakers are still working on a deal to finalize the already late, multi-billion dollar state budget.

“I just don't believe raising penalties is ever a deterrent on crime,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said on March 26.

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New York appeals judge rejects Trump’s request to delay his April 15 hush money trial

BY Associated Press New York City
UPDATED 5:45 PM ET Apr. 08, 2024

A New York appeals court judge on Monday rejected Donald Trump's bid to delay his April 15 hush money criminal trial while he fights to move the case out of Manhattan — foiling the former president’s latest attempt to put off the historic trial.

Justice Lizbeth González of the state’s mid-level appeals court made her ruling after an emergency hearing where Trump's lawyers asked to postpone the trial indefinitely while they seek a change of venue. Trump was seeking an emergency stay, a court order that would prevent the trial from starting on time.

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