Embattled New York cannabis chief Chris Alexander resigns

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State
UPDATED 11:45 AM ET May. 25, 2024

Chris Alexander, the embattled head of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management, is stepping down, Spectrum News NY1 has learned.

The executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management announced his resignation on Friday via email, according to a copy obtained by NY1.

Continue Reading

'Not On Our Dime Act' reemerging with renewed urgency from both sides

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Legislation is re-emerging that would strip funding for New York charities that are found to be engaging in what it refers to as unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.

State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani says the “Not On Our Dime Act” would also allow for recovery of a civil penalty by the state attorney general, while creating a private right of action for violations.

Continue Reading

Reps. Goldman, Malliotakis introduce 'Michelle Go Act' aimed at boosting inpatient mental healthcare treatment

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

Michelle Go died in 2022 after being pushed onto a subway track near Times Square by a stranger with mental illness. Her death raised new concerns about random acts of violence in New York City.

Now, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are proposing to increase access to long-term mental healthcare, in hopes of preventing people who need treatment from falling through the cracks.

Continue Reading

New York Farm Bureau's new CEO discusses end-of-session bills

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The New York Farm Bureau’s new CEO Deanna Fox grew up on family farms in Chenango and Madison counties in Central New York, where her family raised dairy cattle, tapped maple sugar and raised horses.

In her new role, Fox told Capital Tonight that the organization is strongly supporting one bill and strongly opposing another in the few weeks left in the current legislative session in Albany.

Continue Reading

Hochul pushes social media restrictions on youth while meeting with students

BY Ryan Whalen East Amherst

EAST AMHERST, N.Y. -- The graduating class at Williamsville East High School has had a unique educational experience as the COVID-19 pandemic began their freshman year.

Senior Aniyah Ramadan was one of a group of students who sat down with Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday to talk about how social media has impacted her life and education.

Continue Reading

State legislators call for a publicly owned power authority in Hudson Valley

BY John Camera Kingston

Amid continued billing issues for customers of utility provider Central Hudson, two Hudson Valley elected officials are introducing a bill to make the utility publicly owned.

Assembly Member Sarahana Shrestha and state Senator Michelle Hinchey are sponsoring the Hudson Valley Power Authority Act, which would take the privately owned utility company and put it in the control of a publicly owned community institution.

Continue Reading

Bill would track algal bloom growth in New York to help prevent harmful toxicity

BY Justin Velazquez Syracuse

Pick a spot in New York and you're probably close to a beautiful body of water. While we enjoy it by taking in the view on a pretty sunny day or drinking clean water, it comes with some dangers as well.

“Algal blooms are a specific problem," state Sen. Rachel May said. "They happen in a particular place, but they are highly toxic.”

Continue Reading

Legislators want answers about embattled cannabis office

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City
UPDATED 9:46 AM ET May. 24, 2024

Nearly two weeks ago, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an overhaul of the embattled Office of Cannabis Management after a report had found that a web of inefficiencies and inexperience left current and would-be legal weed peddlers furious and out of cash.

But lawmakers are questioning Hochul’s choices and the next steps.

Continue Reading

New York state delivers funds designed to help revitalize upstate downtowns

BY John Camera Orange County
UPDATED 9:19 AM ET May. 24, 2024

The town of Cornwall has been on the cusp of significant economic growth for years. It just needed some help getting there.

"To get visitors and tourists from West Point, from Storm King Art Center, from the Woodbury Commons, from the hiking trails, down to our restaurants or retail shops, into our bed and breakfasts," explained Town Supervisor Josh Wojehowski.

Continue Reading

A call for help: When a mental health crisis turns deadly

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

At the end of March, NYPD officers shot and killed a 19-year-old in Queens who was apparently facing a mental health crisis. The death of Win Rozario once again put scrutiny on how the NYPD handles mental health calls and whether the city’s non-police response program is working. NY1 investigative reporter Courtney Gross, political reporter Bobby Cuza and Dan Rivoli discuss the complicated nature of the city's response to mental health calls and Courtney details the findings of her new investigation.

After that, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was back in the news after he gave a fiery speech on Mayor Eric Adams’ home turf of Brooklyn. The former governor bashed the city’s handling of possible arsenic contamination at a New York City public housing complex in the East Village. Adams was quick to push back on Cuomo, but many are speculating that Cuomo may be planning to challenge Adams in a run for mayor next year. The “Off Topic” team looks at the possibility of Cuomo returning to politics as well as other potential candidates.

Continue Reading

Trump draws large crowd at rally in the Bronx

BY Atlan Hassard and Spectrum News Staff New York City

A rally for former President Donald Trump drew a large crowd at Crotona Park in the Bronx Thursday night.

NY1 reporters on scene said the turnout was in “in the thousands.”

Continue Reading

Push grows to mandate paper ballots as N.Y. counties eye touch-screen voting

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Election policy advocates and good-government groups want the Legislature to change state law to mandate paper ballots be made available to New York voters as more counties plan to transition to touch-screen voting machines the state Board of Elections certified last year.

After nearly 14 years, New York's voting machines need an update — and it's raising questions about how a possible switch to all touch-screen voting in New York elections will impact election security after news reports both Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island will spend millions of dollars to purchase the touch-screen ballot devices next year.

Continue Reading

Chancellor presents SUNY address; union leader says it glossed over challenges

BY Kate Lisa Albany
UPDATED 8:15 PM ET May. 23, 2024

Gov. Kathy Hochul has touted investments for SUNY in the latest budget, including $400 million in new operating aid and $1.1 billion for capital projects.

Chancellor John King says the funds will boost staff pay to sustain SUNY programs and the public university system's first enrollment increase in a decade. The chancellor is ready to start work with advisers to make recommendations and explore future options for the future of SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Continue Reading

NYC tourism sector headed towards 'complete recovery,' state comptroller report says

BY Erica Brosnan New York City
UPDATED 8:00 PM ET May. 23, 2024

A new report from the New York state comptroller’s office released Thursday says the tourism sector in New York City is heading towards a “complete recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite a fewer number of tourists overall, the report indicated that visitor spending has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. According to the report, spending by visitors to New York City topped $48 billion in 2023, topping the $47.4 billion spent by visitors in 2019.

Continue Reading

N.Y. film industry boosters push back on tax credit research

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Last year, New York state expanded its film tax credit to $700 million a year. The hope was that filmmakers would opt to make their movies here in New York rather than in Los Angeles or Vancouver or Atlanta.

The problem is that the film tax credit is paid for with taxpayer money, and several studies have come out showing that the return on this kind of investment isn’t that good. One consulting group the state paid to figure out whether the tax credit was worth it said that it is "at best a break-even proposition and more likely a net cost for the state.”

Continue Reading

N.Y. woman convicted in attempted murder plot to receive shorter sentence as judge considers past domestic abuse

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In June 2019, a judge sentenced then 47-year-old Vivian Rodriguez, of Cheektowaga, to nine years in state prison for the attempted murder of her boyfriend and tampering with physical evidence.

According to the Erie County District Attorney's Office, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to allowing a co-conspirator into her boyfriend's home who then tried to kill him with a machete and was killed himself in the struggle. However, attorneys with the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo say there is more to the story.

Continue Reading

New York For All Act would limit disclosure of immigration status

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Advocates and some Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would prohibit local law enforcement and other officials from questioning individuals regarding their citizenship or immigration status, as well as sharing information about someone’s immigration status with federal enforcement officials except under certain circumstances.

Murad Awawdeh, president and CEO of the New York Immigration Coalition, told Spectrum News 1 the New York For All Act would help immigrants, regardless of status, who he says are put in an challenging position by the U.S.’s immigration system.

Continue Reading

N.Y. judge imposes $15 million fine on unlicensed cannabis shops owner who says he gave free samples

BY Associated Press Lyons

LYONS, N.Y. (AP) — The owner of seven unlicensed cannabis shops in New York whose promotions included an Easter egg hunt has been fined more than $15 million after state officials complained he repeatedly ignored notices to stop operating without approval, authorities said.

A state Supreme Court justice in Lyons, New York, imposed the fine against David Tulley on Wednesday. Acting Justice Richard Healy penalized Tulley 90% of his gross sales from February 2022 to May 2023 as well as $10,000 for each day he operated without licenses.

Continue Reading

New secretary of state and construction authority leader confirmed by the New York Senate

BY Associated Press New York State

The New York Senate confirmed two former state lawmakers Wednesday to lead the Department of State and the state's public finance and construction authority.

Senators confirmed Walter T. Mosley as secretary of state and former Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez as president and chief executive officer of the Dormitory Authority of the state of New York. Both are former assemblymen.

Continue Reading

AOC criticizes Trump's Bronx rally as fundraising attempt

BY Spectrum News NY1 The Bronx

Former President Donald Trump's planned rally in the Bronx on Thursday has sparked sharp criticism from local politicians, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Trump is expected to rail against President Joe Biden, inflation and the surge of asylum seekers in New York when he takes the stage in Crotona Park, located in an area where he won just 16% of the vote in 2020.

Continue Reading

Why is Trump rallying in the Bronx, one of the most heavily Democratic counties in the U.S.?

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump is scheduled to rally in one of the most heavily Democratic counties in the country, set to take the stage Thursday evening in the Bronx.

A Trump campaign spokesperson says to expect the former president and GOP nominee to rail against Joe Biden, inflation and the surge of asylum seekers into New York when he takes the stage in Crotona Park.

Continue Reading

Siena College poll gauges voter attitudes on Gaza protests, Biden approval

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

A new Siena College poll out Wednesday of almost 1,200 registered voters in New York shows that President Joe Biden maintains a narrow lead over Donald Trump. It also shows that voters support amending the state Constitution to protect abortion rights, which is not surprising in a blue state like New York.

There was also agreement over the pro-Palestinian protests that have spread across the country.

Continue Reading

Analysis finds 97% of school budgets pass across New York

BY Ryan Whalen New York State

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- According to analysis compiled by the New York State School Boards Association, voters approved roughly 97% of school district budgets Tuesday and about two-thirds of districts that sought to override the property tax cap were successful.

New York State Council of School Superintendents Deputy Director Robert Lowry said the 18 total budgets defeated on the first try are slightly more than average but in general the numbers are in line with where they've been since 2012 when the state enacted the cap.

Continue Reading

Gov. Hochul says restrictions on social media companies is top priority for end of legislative session

BY Bernadette Hogan New York City

With just weeks to go until the end of the Albany legislative session, Gov. Kathy Hochul is prioritizing the passage of a measure that aims to crack down on what she says is young New Yorkers’ addiction to social media.

“I know about this crisis because New York teens have told me themselves, in their own words,” Hochul said during an Albany-based press conference Wednesday. “When you hear the pain in their voices, it hits you right here. Because we’re hardwired to just make life easier and more joyful. Childhood is supposed to be a joyful, happy time.”

Continue Reading

N.Y. Senate to vote on changing law after Weinstein reversal, Gianaris says

BY Kate Lisa Albany
UPDATED 2:11 PM ET May. 22, 2024

State Senate leaders say they'll pass legislation Wednesday to strengthen sexual assault prosecutions in New York after Harvey Weinstein's rape conviction was thrown out late last month.

The bill would permit evidence from a prior sex crime to be used when a defendant is accused of a subsequent sexual offense.

Continue Reading

New York's 'Mom Squad' sees victories and challenges in state budget

BY Jack Arpey Albany

From a Foundation Aid scare to a relentless drive for universal free school meals, this session kept the New York state Legislature's "Mom Squad" busy. It’s a group of lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly who are mothers and advocate for family issues.

“We’ve sort of informally created this Mom Squad to be able to fight for the issues that parents care about in New York state,” said Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas.

Continue Reading

New York senator won't face charges after he was accused of shoving an advocate

BY Associated Press Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state senator won't face charges after he was accused of shoving an advocate in the state capitol building last week.

Disability rights advocate Michael Carey, who filed a complaint with New York State Police after a heated exchange with state Sen. Kevin Parker turned physical, told The Associated Press that he spoke with Parker on Friday and they “resolved things in a peaceable way.”

Continue Reading

GOP-aligned PAC reserves $29M in ads across New York

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 8:06 AM ET May. 22, 2024

The Republican-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund is reserving $28.7 million in ads across New York state ahead of the fall elections.

Republicans made inroads across New York in 2022, flipping a handful of congressional seats that padded their slim majority in the U.S. House. Holding onto those seats could determine which party controls the chamber next year.

Continue Reading

Jewish students discuss antisemitism on college campuses ahead of fall semester

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State

Jewish students from Cornell University and SUNY Purchase told lawmakers in Albany Tuesday that this spring was a semester to remember — but not for preferred reasons.

They’re concerned about a rise in antisemitism in the wake of campus protests against the Israeli government, which sometimes got very ugly this spring.

Continue Reading

Aide to Mayor Adams is cooperating with federal investigators

BY Kelly Mena New York City

Once a top aide to the mayor, Rana Abbasova is now a key cooperator in the federal investigation into whether Eric Adams 2021 mayoral campaign had conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal donations.

Abbasova was a liaison between the Turkish community and the Adams campaign.

Continue Reading

Experts urge Legislature to pass bill preventing for-profit and private equity hospice in New York

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The FBI has issued public warnings about hospice fraud in four states — Texas, Arizona, Nevada and California. The bureau is alerting consumers to a wide-spread scam in which patients are enrolled in hospice without their knowledge by recruiters who “sell” hospice care to people who aren’t actually eligible.

The alarm was sounded about this kind of fraud two years ago by the New Yorker and Pro Publica.

Continue Reading

Judge sets deadline for Buffalo mass shooter's attorneys to file 12.2 motion

BY Brianne Roesser City of Buffalo
UPDATED 6:12 PM ET May. 21, 2024

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Attorneys were back in federal court Tuesday afternoon to discuss the timeline of a filing of 12.2 motion, or mental examination, by the defense of Buffalo mass shooter Payton Gendron.

Gendron is currently serving life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to state charges of murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate. Now, his case heads to federal trial.

Continue Reading

Trump trial updates: Defense rests its case without ex-president testifying

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City
UPDATED 4:59 PM ET May. 21, 2024

The New York hush money trial against Donald Trump is underway, the first criminal case against a former president in U.S. history.

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.

Continue Reading

House Farm Bill expands big programs, but sets up fight over SNAP and climate change

BY Emily Kenny, Report for America corps member Central NY

The House Committee on Agriculture released a nearly 1,000-page document drafting the long-awaited 2024 Farm Bill totaling $1.5 trillion – the first trillion-dollar farm bill in history.

“The Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024 is the product of extensive feedback from stakeholders and all members of the House and is responsive to the needs of farm country through the incorporation of hundreds of bipartisan policies,” House committee chair Glenn Thompson, a Republican, said in a press release.

Continue Reading

After fatal Amtrak crash, Rep. Kennedy calls for federal railroad investigation

BY Brian Campbell North Tonawanda

After three people were killed in a collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a passenger vehicle Friday night in North Tonawanda, Congressman Tim Kennedy is calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct an investigation into the accident and make recommendations to improve the safety of the CSX-owned crossing.

In a letter to the FRA, Rep. Kennedy noted that the rail crossing previously saw a fatal accident in 2001, as well as other non-fatal accidents.

Continue Reading

School budgets a priority on Election Day in New York

BY Breanna Fuss New York State

Tuesday is Election Day. This time, voters across New York are heading to the polls to determine the future of education.

There are school board seats on some ballots and different propositions — but the bottom line is the budget.

Continue Reading

Stefanik meets with Netanyahu, denounces Biden during Israel visit

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

Rep. Elise Stefanik denounced President Joe Biden and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to the Middle East nation this weekend.

Stefanik, who serves as the GOP Conference chair, said she conveyed to Netanyahu the “House GOP’s unwavering support for Israel, our most precious ally,” according to a social media post.

Continue Reading

Fashion Workers Act clears N.Y. Senate, awaits Assembly hurdle

BY Kate Lisa Albany

New York is a hub for the global fashion industry with the semi-annual New York Fashion Week generating $600 million in state revenue every year. About 180,000 people work in New York's fashion industry to the tune of almost $11 billion in total wages.

A bill gaining momentum in the state Legislature would regulate talent companies hiring models and give fashion workers the same labor protections as other industries.

Continue Reading

Buffalo voters challenge N.Y. independent nominating deadline in appeals court

BY Ryan Whalen City of Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Five independent voters from the city of Buffalo are challenging New York's deadline for candidates to submit independent nominating petitions.

"The case that my clients are making is that the deadline is simply too early, and it's too early because it cuts off the opportunity for independent candidates to get in the race 28 days before the primary election," attorney Bryan Sells said.

Continue Reading

Adams defends NYPD's handling of Brooklyn pro-Palestinian protest

BY Erica Brosnan New York City
UPDATED 8:13 PM ET May. 20, 2024

Mayor Eric Adams on Monday defended the NYPD’s response to a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Brooklyn over the weekend and disagreed with assertions that officers were overly aggressive as they arrested protesters.

The protest in Bay Ridge Saturday was organized to recognize Nakba Day, which commemorates the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948.

Continue Reading

Clinton Hill residents call on city to address migrant shelter issues

BY Kelly Mena New York City

On a typical afternoon at the migrant shelter located off Hall Street in Brooklyn, local residents describe seeing migrants eating their own food and selling products.

And some feel this is a sign that the city has not done enough to help the 3,000 migrant men who are being housed at the emergency shelter site.

Continue Reading

Bankruptcy judge approves Genesis Global plan to refund $3 billion to creditors, crypto customers

BY Associated Press Albany

A bankruptcy court judge has approved a plan by the cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global to return about $3 billion to its creditors and investors, including thousands of people who New York regulators say were defrauded by the company.

The plan and settlement approved Friday by Judge Sean H. Lane includes up to $2 billion to settle a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who said the company misled investors about the risks of putting their money into a company program known as Gemini Earn.

Continue Reading

Molinaro holds housing discussion in Hudson Valley

BY John Camera Hudson

Rep. Marc Molinaro hosted a roundtable discussion Monday to address the ongoing housing crisis facing Hudson Valley residents.

Officials and decision makers from all aspects of housing met to discuss the challenges they’re facing, including the price of building materials, keeping projects in line with highway, water and sewer standards and battling opposition to affordable and transitional housing opportunities.

Continue Reading

Annual LCA Show is this week in Albany

BY Capital Tonight Staff Albany

SPECTRUM NEWS VIDEO: For more than 120 years, the Legislative Correspondents' Association, the association of journalists tasked with covering state government, has put on an annual show lambasting the very people and institutions it covers. The event has historically attracted the incumbent governor and a member of the opposition party to deliver a rebuttal to the show. This year's show, "Kathy Land," will feature Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay giving the Republican rebuttal.

null

Continue Reading

Bill would help prevent collisions with wildlife by providing them a pathway across New York

BY Breanna Fuss New York State

The New York State Department of Transportation estimates there are 65,000 deer-vehicle collisions every year. The estimated average cost for a driver for repairs and medical bills is $40,000.

There's an effort underway in the western part of the state to create a wildlife pathway. It would start in Western New York and span across the state, to connect with the Staying Connected Initiative already in place, and end in Canada.

Continue Reading

N.Y. businesses push back against consumer protection bill, heating up debate

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Dozens of business organizations from across the state are fighting hard against lawmakers' efforts to expand consumer protections — shifting their pushback into high gear by sending a letter to all members of the Legislature this week with three weeks of session remaining.

More than 30 business groups, led by the Business Council of New York State, warn small businesses will suffer the consequences if legislation is signed into law to enhance the state's consumer protection laws after 44 years.

Continue Reading

New York's opioid settlement board outlines 2025 state budget funding

BY Jack Arpey New York State

The Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board, created to determine how to spend New York’s cut of at least $26 billion in opioid settlement money, met Friday in Albany.

It was an at times contentious meeting with discussions about how to best spread the money across work done by different organizations that have at times clashed. But there were also demands coming from the public as well.

Continue Reading

Hochul: Data shows 'major progress' in reducing gun violence in New York

BY Keegan Trunick and John Camera New York State
UPDATED 5:00 PM ET May. 17, 2024

Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York has made major progress in reducing gun violence. She says the rate has reached historic lows after declining for two straight years.

New York's Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative released data showing shooting incidents with injury and the number of shooting victims each decreased by more than 35% through April 2024. That's compared to the average from January to April over the last five years in the major metropolitan areas outside New York City.

Continue Reading

Declining membership, high-impact debates are priorities for New York Farm Bureau’s CEO

BY Emily Kenny, Report for America corps member Central NY

With declining membership, rising costs and heavy impact legislation debated in the halls of the state capitol and Congress, the new New York Farm Bureau leader says she hopes to push for new youth career initiatives and advocate for support for Empire State farmers.

CEO Deanna Fox grew up on a dairy farm in Chenango County, and many of her family members were farmers.

Continue Reading

Up and away: Hochul and Adams head overseas

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

This week, both Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul broke out their passports. The mayor went to Rome to attend a conference, and the governor went to both Italy and Ireland to speak at conferences. NY1 investigative reporter Courtney Gross, political reporter Bobby Cuza and statehouse reporter Bernadette Hogan discuss Adams’ and Hochul’s international travel and what it may mean for them in the long run.



Continue Reading

New York looks to bolster law enforcement ranks with women

BY Krystal Cole Syracuse

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, as of 2022, there were 63,858 officers in the state. But the split of male versus female officers is far from 50/50.

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office began allowing men and women to hold the same rank in 1974.

Continue Reading

Rep. Lawler introduces bill aimed at shoring up terror victim compensation fund

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to shore up a fund that compensates victims of terror attacks, including Sept. 11.

Rep. Mike Lawler formally introduced the bill, which updates the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. New York Reps. Nicole Malliotakis and Dan Goldman and New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer are co-leading the legislation.

Continue Reading

New York Council of School Superintendents deputy director discusses new teacher evaluations

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Education stakeholders in New York have been trying to make changes to the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) of teachers and principals for years.

The APPR, according to teachers, school boards and superintendents, yielded little or no benefit in improving teaching or learning while imposing enormous time demands on school personnel.

Continue Reading

New York state Sen. Sean Ryan discusses housing plan for upstate

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York City’s housing crisis has been covered for years, so it’s easy to forget that upstate New York cities face similar challenges.

But Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and Binghamton saw a major victory in the recently passed state budget. Parts of New York state Sen. Sean Ryan’s four-part housing plan received funding, including $40 million to build one and two family homes.

Continue Reading

Bill introduced to expand transparency of Medicaid spending in New York

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Fresh off frustrations with health spending in the budget and cuts to Medicaid ahead of future spending gaps, lawmakers introduced new legislation to require Managed Long Term Care plans to publicly report how they spend taxpayer dollars.

Lawmakers hope mandating plans to release detailed spending data will ensure that raises allocated for home care workers in past budgets will go to staffers as intended.

Continue Reading

Hochul announces $14.7 million to improve food supply chain

BY Emily Kenny, Report for America corps member Central NY
UPDATED 3:35 PM ET May. 16, 2024

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New York will offer $14.7 million in funding for farmers and food businesses to strengthen the infrastructure of the food supply chain, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul's office.

“The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program provides critical funding to support our food supply chain by investing in projects that modernize agricultural facilities, improve training and facilitate the purchase of new equipment,” Hochul said in a statement.

Continue Reading

New York child poverty rate one of the highest in U.S., state comptroller report says

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

The child poverty rate in New York remains one of the highest in the country and is “alarmingly” high in some cities, according to a report released Thursday by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

The report found New York’s child poverty rate ranked 41st in the nation in 2022, which was at least six percentage points higher than states that border New York. More than 2.7 million New York residents were living in poverty in 2022 and more than a quarter of them were children, the report said. Almost half of all children living in poverty are in “deep poverty,” meaning they are in a household with income that is 50% below the federal poverty line.

Continue Reading

New York ethics panel appeals constitutionality decision amid Cuomo book probe

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

The New York state Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government is appealing a court ruling last week that said the ethics watchdog was created unconstitutionally amid its investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his book he wrote about his administration’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move continues a previous stay on the case and means it would move to the state’s highest court — the state Court of Appeals.

Continue Reading

New York's 'Solar for All' program aims to deliver clean energy savings to low-income households, Hochul says

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

The New York state Public Service Commission has adopted a Statewide Solar for All program that aims to spur development of solar and retail energy storage projects, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced Thursday.

Statewide Solar for All will combine the utility-managed Energy Affordability Program (EAP) and market-based community solar with the goal to deliver clean energy savings to low-income households.

Continue Reading

N.Y. Senate confirms new commissioners of state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Children and Family Services

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

The New York state Senate has confirmed two new commissioners — Barbara Guinn as commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden of the state Office of Children and Family Services — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

Guinn has been acting commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance since July, replacing Daniel Tietz, and concurrently serves as executive deputy commissioner, a position she has held since March 2017. The office aims to help low-income residents meet their basic needs and to help those who can work become financially independent. In the past, she has also worked in the Division of Integrated Family Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, state Department of Labor and state Division of the Budget.

Continue Reading

Live from N.Y.: The life, legacy and near-presidential candidacy of Mario Cuomo

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

Building on the success of NY1’s documentary about the career of Mario Cuomo, NY1 and Hunter College’s Roosevelt House held an in-depth discussion about the former governor that was moderated by Errol Louis. Errol’s panelists were Mary Ann Crotty, Cuomo’s former director of state operations; Harold Holzer, a former top aide to Cuomo who now serves as Roosevelt House’s director; and renowned journalist Denis Hamill.

The special live taping of the panel on May 14 was held at Roosevelt House — Hunter College’s Public Policy Institute and the former Manhattan home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Continue Reading

N.Y. lawmakers plan to repass vetoed contract transparency bill

BY Kate Lisa New York State
UPDATED 5:52 AM ET May. 16, 2024

Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday they plan to pass legislation to be sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for the second time to improve transparency of state contracts that begin during a public emergency after the governor vetoed the legislation last year.

Assembly Republicans called for greater oversight of the $4.3 billion New York is spending to house and care for migrants arriving in New York City — including $2.4 billion in the latest budget and nearly $2 billion last year.

Continue Reading

Group of senators led by Schumer roll out legislative roadmap for artificial intelligence

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, took the wraps off a sweeping 20-page report on artificial intelligence Wednesday, offering recommendations for how to foster innovation while also establishing guardrails for the innovative technology.

The document, dubbed a roadmap, is the product of a year of Senate forums with high-profile technology leaders, including the heads of Google and Facebook, plus labor leaders and civil rights advocates.

Continue Reading

N.Y. Assemblymember Anna Kelles discusses cap and invest proposal

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York state Assemblymember Anna Kelles has introduced legislation that serves as an alternative to the state’s emerging cap and trade system.

Cap and trade is a program used to help meet climate goals by capping pollution and then authorizing tradable allowances between companies, creating a new market.

Continue Reading

Rockefeller Institute to host conference on immigrant integration

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Rockefeller Institute and the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society will hold a conference on immigrant integration efforts in New York state next Wednesday, May 22.

The role that immigration will play in the next presidential election, as well as how New York is handling the influx of migrants, has been covered extensively by the media, but not how migrants are fitting into our communities.

Continue Reading

SUNY bucks nationwide enrollment trends, chancellor says, but some schools still feeling the struggle

BY Wendy Wright New York State

Many higher education institutions are fighting tooth and nail to keep students enrolled across the country. That's because a number of colleges and universities are closing their doors due to a lack of students.

State University of New York Chancellor John King reports a different trend. Approaching this final week of commencement ceremonies across New York state, King is weighing in on a range of topics from enrollment to layoffs.

Continue Reading

State senator knocks governor's congestion price discounts for Hudson Valley commuters

BY Spectrum News Staff and John Camera Orange County

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced discounts for Hudson Valley commuters to New York City, but one elected official from the area said Wednesday it’s not enough to offset commuter pricing.

With congestion pricing set to begin for Manhattan's Central Business District on June 30, Hochul last week announced a pilot program that would include ticket discounts for the Newburgh Ferry, several bus services and parking at the White Plains train station.

Continue Reading

Cannabis consultant on changes to New York's legal marijuana program

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

As Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an overhaul to New York’s cannabis program, longtime cannabis expert Jesse Campoamor joined NY1 political reporter Bobby Cuza on “Inside City Hall” to talk about the changes and the future of the industry.

Campoamor also weighed in on the state report into the Office of Cannabis Management and efforts to crack down on the illegal market.

Continue Reading

Gov. Hochul unveils final design for 5/14 memorial in Buffalo

BY Keegan Trunick and Breanna Fuss City of Buffalo
UPDATED 11:05 AM ET May. 15, 2024

As the community prepares to honor the two-year anniversary of the Buffalo mass shooting on Tuesday, state and local leaders revealed the final design for the 5/14 memorial on Monday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Rep. Tim Kennedy and members of the 5/14 Memorial Commission unveiled renderings of the memorial to the public for the first time. The final design has 10 interconnected pillars that feature the names and photos of each of the 10 victims who lost their lives during the racist attack at the Tops supermarket on Buffalo's Jefferson Avenue in 2022. The design also includes a new building that is slated to be a location for education, exhibitions, community activities and events, according to Gov. Hochul.

Continue Reading

Reps. Kennedy, Meng reintroduce federal bill restricting access to enhanced body armor

BY Keegan Trunick New York State

As the Buffalo community honors the two-year anniversary of the 5/14 mass shooting, U.S. Reps. Timothy Kennedy (D-NY26) and Grace Meng (D-NY6) have reintroduced a bill named for one of the victims.

The Aaron Salter Jr. Responsible Body Armor Possession Act was reintroduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. If passed, the legislation would prohibit the sale or possession of enhanced body armor by anyone except members of law enforcement, military personnel or others who use the equipment for work. Enhanced body armor is armor that meets or exceeds level three ballistic resistance.

Continue Reading

Gateway CEO: Hudson River tunnel project near 'point of no return' on funding — regardless of who is POTUS next year

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A long-awaited critical infrastructure project could soon be full steam ahead, regardless of who is president next year.

Gateway Development Commission CEO Kris Kolluri told Spectrum News NY1 that they are close to unlocking billions of additional federal dollars for a new train tunnel under the Hudson River.

Continue Reading

Groups want N.Y. to disaggregate data of Middle Eastern, North African individuals

BY Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 9:15 PM ET May. 14, 2024

A group of organizations are pushing for New York lawmakers to pass a bill that would disaggregate data of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) individuals, according to a letter sent Monday.

The bill (S6584-B/A6219-A) would direct every state agency, board, department and commission that collects demographic data to use separate categories to collect data for the “White” and “Middle Eastern or North African” groups.

Continue Reading

Bills aim to 'rescue EMS' in New York through targeted changes

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Lawmakers at the state Capitol on Tuesday continued their push to, as they put it, rescue Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in New York.

They said there are an abundance of challenges facing EMS organizations, and short of a complete overhaul of the system, or massive increases in Medicaid spending, targeting specific problem areas that would increase funding and changing the ways organizations are supported locally are the best ways to address them.

Continue Reading

N.Y. Office of General Services commissioner responds to criticism of cannabis assessment

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Only 122 legal marijuana retailers have opened over the last three years or so since New York’s marijuana law came into effect, falling far short of the number promised, and leading Gov. Kathy Hochul to ask Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy to undertake a 30-day assessment into the operations of the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

Moy’s report, which she delivered to the governor last week, was critical of the agency’s leadership capacity, failure of centralized operations, lack of customer service and overly complex licensing requirements, among other issues.

Continue Reading

Student opt-out removed from lockdown drill reform bill

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Lawmakers amended legislation this week to halve the number of annual lockdown drills required for New York schools, including removing a provision that allowed parents to opt students out of participating altogether.

With 13 scheduled session days remaining for the year, lawmakers Tuesday said lockdown drill reform remains a top priority. Sen. Andrew Gounardes sponsors legislation to reduce the number of annually required school lockdown and active shooter drills from four to two.

Continue Reading

Buffalo dedicates park-like space to victims on second anniversary of racist mass shooting

BY Associated Press City of Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y, (AP) — The city of Buffalo on Tuesday marked the second anniversary of a racist mass shooting that killed 10 Black people with the dedication of a memorial space honoring the victims.

Anchoring the space outside the Tops supermarket targeted in the attack is a sculpture entitled “Unity,” which features purple metal pillars representing each person killed. Three gold pillars represent those who were wounded.

Continue Reading

State audit finds poor financial management by Central New York Regional Market Authority

BY Luke Parsnow and Emily Kenny, Report for America corps member Central NY
UPDATED 1:57 PM ET May. 14, 2024

The Central New York Regional Market Authority's financial position has deteriorated and will continue to see annual net losses if measures are not taken to increase revenues and reduce expenses, according to an audit released Tuesday by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office.

The audit found the Syracuse-based public authority, which operates a farmers market and flea market to help vendors sell their products and has programs and services to promote agriculture in the region, has seen a total net decline from $6 million at the start of fiscal year 2020-21 to $4.9 million at the end of fiscal year 2022-23. Cash available to pay operating costs declined from $502,807 to a deficit of $6,539 over the same time period.

Continue Reading

Retired Israeli ambassador discusses civilian death toll in Gaza

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Retired Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, an expert on U.S.-Israel relations and Middle East affairs, joined Capital Tonight host Susan Arbetter on Monday to discuss the civilian death toll in Gaza and the Biden administration’s decision to halt some weapons shipments to the Jewish state.



Continue Reading

Analysis finds IDA deals are costing New York public schools millions annually

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In 2015, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued new rules requiring state and local governments to disclose certain tax abatements in annual financial reports. This new requirement makes information about tax abatements at the state and local government levels available for the public to review, according to the Tax Policy Center.

The organizations Good Jobs First and Reinvent Albany recently published an analysis of that public information.

Continue Reading

Expert analyzes Cohen's testimony in Trump hush money trial

BY Spectrum News NY1 New York City

A criminal defense expert offered analysis Tuesday on Michael Cohen’s testimony in Donald Trump’s hush money trial, in which he claimed the ex-president sought to cover up his alleged encounter with an adult film star to protect his presidential bid.

During an interview on “Mornings On 1,” Duncan Levin, a criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, pointed to the strategic timing of Cohen's testimony by the Manhattan district attorney's office, suggesting they set up Cohen, Trump's former attorney, to be the puzzle piece in their presentation of evidence.

Continue Reading

Advocates push package to reform sentencing laws in New York state

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Less than a month from the end of the legislative session, lawmakers and advocates are working to get their priorities across the finish line.

For some Democrats in the majority, one priority is sentencing reform. It comes amid ongoing and sometimes heated debates over criminal justice reforms.

Continue Reading

With sagging polls, could Biden hurt Democrats in critical New York House races?

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

New York is poised to play a decisive role in the battle for control of Congress this fall, with roughly a half-dozen House seats considered up for grabs in November — most of them currently held by Republicans.

But polling shows President Joe Biden’s popularity in New York has sagged since 2020, raising questions about whether he might be a drag on Democrats’ chances of winning those contested seats and taking back the majority in the United States House of Representatives.

Continue Reading

Hochul to travel to Italy, Ireland this week to address international policy summits

BY Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 7:45 PM ET May. 13, 2024

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will travel to Europe later this week to make an address at Pope Francis’ summit, “From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience,” and deliver keynote remarks at the Global Economic Summit in Ireland, the governor’s office said Monday.

Hochul will be in Italy and the Vatican Wednesday and Thursday to participate in the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Science's three-day joint summit.

Continue Reading
SIGN UP FOR OUR E-BLASTS
Enter your email address below to subscribe to our daily newsletters!

More Politics Headlines

You May Also Be Interested In