Rensselaer County Coronavirus Cases Being Monitored

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 10:36 AM ET Jul. 12, 2020

New York's coronavirus infection rate out of thousands of test results on Saturday found an infection rate largely remaining flat at 1 percent.

But there are some differences regionally, as the Capital Region showed a slightly higher infection rate of 2 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced on Saturday.

Continue Reading

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Fall Below 800 In New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Coronavirus hospitalizations have fallen below 800 patients in New York for the first time since March 18, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office on Saturday said.

Seven people died of COVID-19 in the last day, the lowest death toll since March 16.

Continue Reading

Hammond: We Need To Learn What Happened In Nursing Homes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 7:30 PM ET Jul. 10, 2020

Why did more than 6,000 nursing home residents die in New York during the height of the coronavirus pandemic?

It's not an academic question for those who still live in nursing homes and long term care facilities or their family members, especially if a second wave occurs in New York or for when the next pandemic strikes, said the Empire Center's Bill Hammond.

Continue Reading

Assembly Republicans Call for End to "Anti-Police Rhetoric"

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region

Assembly Republicans, joined by numerous members of law enforcement, held a press conference calling for an end to what they say is anti-police rhetoric and legislation.

“The purpose of this press conference is to bring awareness to the growing lawlessness in New York and advocate the restoration of law and order in our state,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said. “I think we’ve all seen the reports, we’ve seen the statistics, we’ve seen the violent incidents, the tragedies playing out in our streets.”

Continue Reading

Cuomo: New York COVID-19 Cases Could Rise Due To Other States

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York could see its coronavirus numbers tick upward as the pandemic surges in the south and west in the United States, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday in a WAMC interview.

"You're going to see our numbers and the Northeast numbers probably start to increase because the virus that you see now in the south and the west — California has real trouble — it's going to come back here," he said in the interview. "It is going to come back here. It's like being on a merry-go-round. It's totally predictable. And we're going to go through an increase. I can feel it coming. And it is so unnecessary, and so cruel."

Continue Reading

New York To Allow Nursing Home Visits On A Limited Basis

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Visits at New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities will be allowed on a limited basis for facilities that have been free of new COVID-19 cases for at least 28 days, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on Friday announced.

The guidance will take effect Wednesday, July 15.

Continue Reading

Former Top Cuomo Aide To Start His Own Firm

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Steve Cohen, a former top aide and longtime advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is leaving the investment company led by Ron Perelman where he has served as general counsel to start his own firm.

“Steve has been a valued member of the Office of Chairman as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for eight years," said MacAndrews & Forbes spokesman Josh Vlasto. "During that time, Steve established a great team and we agreed this is the right time to 'pass the torch'. Steve will be pursuing outside business opportunities, starting his own firm and will continue to serve as a legal advisor to the Company.”

Continue Reading

Cuomo: New York Infection Rate Flat, But Don't Get Complacent

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's coronavirus infection rate remains largely flat, with more than 70,000 test results in the last day finding an infection rate of just over 1 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said Friday.

The state's infection rate over the last several days has continued to hover at around 1 percent. Hospitalizations were reduced by 25 cases to 826 patients. Eight people died of COVID-19, Cuomo's office said.

Continue Reading

Marist Poll: New York Voters Approve of Cuomo's Job Performance During Pandemic

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 5:44 AM ET Jul. 10, 2020

Sixty percent of registered voters in New York approve of the job Governor Andrew Cuomo is doing, a Marist College released on Thursday found.

The job performance approval is the highest score Cuomo has received in the poll since taking office in 2011 and is a sharp increase from a 38 percent approval rating in March 2019.

Continue Reading

Nurses Association: Independent Nursing Home Review Needed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

An independent inquiry into deaths at nursing homes and long term care facilities is needed, the New York State Nurses Association said Thursday in a statement.

The statement came days after the state Department of Health backed up Governor Andrew Cuomo's public comments that asymptomatic staff carried the coronavirus into nursing homes and spread the infections unknowingly.

Continue Reading

DiNapoli: Local Governments Face 'Profound' Fiscal Challenges

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Local governments are facing a "profound" fiscal reckoning from the economic crisis created by the pandemic, with the typcial county government losing millions of dollars in revenue, a report released Thursday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The loss of revenue from sales and property taxes, as well as from state aid, will likely lead to public worker layoffs and service reductions.

Continue Reading

Former NYPD Commissioner Endorses In Hudson Valley Assembly Race

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly endorsed Republican Assembly candidate Mike Lawler on Thursday, saying both agree on that the issues of "criminal justice and safety concerns need addressing."

Lawler, the deputy town supervisor in Orangetown, is running for the seat held by Democrat Ellen Jaffee.

Continue Reading

Lawmaker: Nursing Home Bill Stymied

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco wants an independent commission to investigate nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, but his proposed measure to create the panel is yet to receive a bill number despite being introduced two weeks ago.

Tedisco accused Democrats who hold the majority in the state Senate of blocking the measure from evening seeing the light of day. Democrats, in turn, accused Tedisco of playing politics and chasing headlines.

Continue Reading

NY Lawmakers: Congress Can Still Get Trump's New York Taxes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Two Supreme Court rulings released Thursday opened the door to President Donald Trump's tax returns being made public, but that likely won't happen until after the November election.

And for a pair of state lawmakers who sponsored a measure approved last year allowing congressional committees to review Trump's New York tax filings, the rulings underscore why the law should be used.

Continue Reading

New COVID Tests Show Infection Rate Below 1 Percent

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

There were 584 new coronavirus cases confirmed in New York over the last 24 hours out of 65,564 tests that were conducted, an infection rate of about 0.89 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced Thursday.

New cases were found in 46 counties, and eight people died from COVID-19.

Continue Reading

New York Officials Decry SCOTUS Contraceptive Ruling

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers and elected officials on Wednesday decried a Supreme Court ruling that will allow employers to deny coverage for contraceptive services based on religious objections.

The ruling comes after New York has approved measures designed to bolster reproductive and contraceptive measures in the state for women, including a measure that is meant to ensure women have access to coverage regardless of where they work or their employers' religious beliefs.

Continue Reading

Lawsuit Filed Over Absentee Ballot Rejections

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

The League of Women Voters of New York State and the League of Women Voters of the United States joined a federal lawsuit in order to limit the number of absentee ballot rejections.

According to the complaint, New York rejected 14 percent of absentee ballots in 2018 and for the past two election cycles. The state's ballot rejection rate has been among the highest in the country.

Continue Reading

Lawmakers Aim To Address Problems of Aging Out of Foster Care During a Pandemic

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 8:23 PM ET Jul. 08, 2020

Aging out of the foster care system can be a challenge under normal circumstances, but during a pandemic, it can be even harder.

“There’s so much planning under normal circumstances that goes into aging out and all those plans have been disrupted,” Bradley Hansen, public policy director for Families Together in New York State explained. “You have young people who might have aged out in January… they had a solid plan. 'I’m working this place, I have this place I can stay, I am enrolled in mental health services,' everything. And then all that got thrown out when COVID happened."

Continue Reading

Legislature Plans Redistricting Hearing

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers this month will hold a public hearing on the revamped redistricting process as the process for redrawing boundaries for legislative districts looms next year.

The hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 15, and will be conducted jointly with Assembly and Senate lawmakers.

Continue Reading

AG James Makes Recommendations After Protests

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The New York City Police Department should implement a package of changes that include more oversight and accountability in the wake of protests following the killing of George Floyd in May, according to a report released Wednesday by Attorney General Letitia James.

The report comes amid an ongoing investigation by James's office into the NYPD's repsonse to the protest and weeks after state lawmakers in June approved police reform bills that criminalize the use of choke holds and allow for the disclosure of police disciplinary records. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed those measures into law.

Continue Reading

Gillibrand Says Pandemic Unemployment Aid Should Be Extended Through Next Year

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As the coronavirus pandemic began to shutter businesses creating mass layoffs, Congress approved an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs due to the crisis.

But now that aid is set to expire at the end of the month. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in an interview to air this evening at 7 on Capital Tonight said the money should be extended through at least 2021.

Continue Reading

Some Malls Can Re-Open Friday; Cuomo Unveils School Timeline

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Malls in some parts of the state will be allowed to open on Friday as long as they have an enhanced air ventilation system that could remove coronavirus particles from the air, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said.

Meanwhile, the state will make a decision on reopening school buidlings in the first week of August, as Cuomo asserted it is a decision that's up to New York officials and will not bend to pressure from President Donald Trump.

Continue Reading

Court Rules Against Gun Store As "Essential" During Pandemic

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A federal court on Wednesday upheld New York's decision to close gun stores during the coronavirus shutdown, with the court finding the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers were not violated as a result.

The case stemmed from a legal challenge made by a Long Island-based firearms dealer, Dark Storm Industries, which had challenged New York's shutdown order made in March. Health officials kept a limited number of businesses open deemed essential ⁠—such as health care and food distribution ⁠— as most other businesses and entities were ordered to close.

Continue Reading

Republicans, From Trump To Assembly GOP, Seek Reopened Schools

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republicans at the federal and state level are building pressure for a reopening of schools in September as New York, for now, is yet to make a decision on whether students and teachers will return to the buildings in about eight weeks' time.

At issue is balancing the health and safety of children, as well as educators and school staff, amid a coronavirus pandemic with the need to alleviate working parents and guardians of the demands of in-home instruction that has frustrated families since March.

Continue Reading

New Yorkers Want To Keep Take-Out Drinks, Industry Poll Finds

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

Around 86 percent of New Yorkers want to continue purchasing cocktails to-go even after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the New York State Restaurant Association.

Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the executive order allowing for alcoholic beverages to be purchased with takeout or delivery only through the end of July.

Continue Reading

Traveler Quarantine Mandate Difficult for Off-Duty Military Members

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 8:11 PM ET Jul. 07, 2020

It has been almost two weeks since Governor Andrew Cuomo first announced New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut would be imposing a quarantine on travelers from states with high COVID-19 infection rates.

On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo added three more states to the list, Delaware, Oklahoma, and Kansas, bringing the total number of states on this travel advisory list to 19.

Continue Reading

Senate Health Chair Says Nursing Home Hearings Necessary

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The top lawmaker on the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday said public hearings are needed to clarify the conclusions of a Department of Health report that found nursing home deaths linked to COVID-19 were caused by asymptomatic staff and visitors to the facilities.

“While my team and I are delving into the information highlighted by this report, at first glance, it poses more questions than answers," said Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat, in a statement. "It is clear that our upcoming public hearings are necessary to clarify the report's findings, and to bring to light the true scope of how COVID-19 impacted nursing homes and the entire long-term care community.”

Continue Reading

3 States Added To New York's Travel Quarantine

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 10:45 AM ET Jul. 07, 2020

New York is adding Delaware, Oklahoma, and Kansas to its travel quarantine list as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge across the country.

The quarantine policy put in place by New York and neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey requires travelers to self-isolate for 14 days after traveling from states with a positive test rate of 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or a 10 percent or higher positivity rate during that same time.

Continue Reading

Schools Can Make Plans, But State Will Make Reopening Decision

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

In more normal times, school children would have about eight more weeks of enjoying summer before heading back to school. But these aren't normal times.

And for now no decision has been made on New York school children returning to in-person classroom instruction by September, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said.

Continue Reading

Bill Seeks To Better Prepare Federal Government For Second Wave

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill backed by Rep. John Katko is meant to better prepare the federal government for the next wave of coronavirus cases.

The measure, which comes as cases continue to grow in the south and western regions of the country, would require federal government agencies to develop plans for how they would respond to a potential second wave of the pandemic, measurable goals, what challenges are anticipated and how they would consult with Congress.

Continue Reading

Counties Navigating Funding Cuts As Senate Minority Leader Schumer Calls for Federal Aid

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 7:48 PM ET Jul. 06, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said if the state does not receive federal aid soon, schools, hospitals, and local governments could all see funding cuts of up to 20 percent.

But he has yet to set a firm date on when this federal aid has to come in by before these cuts become permanent. Yet, somewhat quietly behind the scenes, these cuts are already starting.

Continue Reading

Republicans: Independent Nursing Home Report Needed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republicans in the state Legislature on Monday assailed a report on nursing home deaths released by the state Department of Health and called for an investigation independent of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.

The governor's office, in turn, knocked Republicans for "embarassing themselves" with politicizing the issue.

Continue Reading

Northern Border Lawmakers Want Phased Re-Opening

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Congressional lawmakers whose districts share a border with Canada urged leaders in both countries develop guidelines for a phase reopening of the border.

The move has the backing of the co-chairs of the Northern Border Caucus, Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins and Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Continue Reading

Cuomo: State Fair Is Canceled Amid Pandemic

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The New York State Fair cannot go forward this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The fair is a summer staple for upstate New York and Syracuse. The fairgrounds itself has received an influx of cash from the state to upgrade facilities.

Continue Reading

DOH Report Says Staff Spread COVID-19 In Nursing Homes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 11:21 AM ET Jul. 06, 2020

In April, a local government official in Steuben County was alarmed by a little noticed policy that allowed COVID-19 positive nursing home staffers not showing symptoms to continue to go to work.

Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler went to the press about it, and the policy was reversed on April 29 only hours after Health Commissioner Howard Zucker was asked about it.

Continue Reading

Pandemic Forces Counties to Tighten Belts

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Last week, a memorandum was sent to county governments with some expected news: Money supporting mental health services was going to be withheld as the state continues to seek federal dollars to shore up its budgets.



Continue Reading

Bail Reform Rollbacks Go Into Effect, Both Sides Criticize Changes

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 8:31 PM ET Jul. 02, 2020

The hotly contested changes to the state’s bail reform laws went into effect on Thursday.

A group of activists and lawmakers held a virtual press conference criticizing what they are calling rollbacks to important criminal justice reforms.

Continue Reading

New Law Protects Renters Impacted By the COVID-19 Pandemic

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 9:55 PM ET Jul. 01, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill late Tuesday that will block tenants from being evicted for any unpaid rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NYS Tenant Safe Harbor Act, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, expands on the governor’s executive order which placed a moratorium on evictions, but was set to expire on August 20.

Continue Reading

Cuomo Calls Out Trump, Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Testing

BY Spectrum News Staff New York State
UPDATED 12:39 PM ET Jul. 01, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo took a swipe at President Donald Trump during a resurrected coronavirus briefing Wednesday.

Near the beginning of the briefing, Cuomo addressed the increase in cases of the coronavirus in a large number of states, saying President Trump needs to take responsibility for what is happening on the national level.

Continue Reading

Capital Region Enters Phase 4 Wednesday

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 8:19 AM ET Jul. 01, 2020

The Capital Region enters Phase Four of economic reopening on Wednesday.

The move means most of upstate New York is now in the fourth stage of the reopening. Officials, however, have delayed the reopening of gyms, malls and movie theaters over concerns of how the virus can spread indoors.

Continue Reading

High Unemployment Could Be Sustained Problem

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York is facing historic unemployment due to the pandemic and is something that could shape up to be a long-term problem.

"I don't think anybody is seriously looking at a v-shaped recovery where everything by the end of this year is back to normal," said EJ McMahon, the president of the Empire Center. "I think it's going to be quite a while."

Continue Reading

SUNY Temporarily Suspends SAT, ACT Requirements

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The State University of New York this week moved to temporarily suspend SAT and ACT testing requirements for the 2021-22 cycles, as the coronavirus pandemic has upended the traditional school schedule for students.

At the same time, the Board of Regents also moved to expand the public college and university system application fee waiver to include active military, their spouses, and their dependents.

Continue Reading

State To Monitor Social Distancing, Mask Wearing In New York City

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Officials from the state Department of Health, State Liquor Authority and the State Police will be monitoring compliance this evening for social distancing and face coverings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday told NY1 in an interview.

The monitoring comes as New York is working to avoid a second spike of coronavirus cases in a state that was hammered by the pandemic in late winter and spring. New York's cases have since ebbed, but the virus is spiking elsewhere in the country.

Continue Reading

8 States Added to New York's 14-Day COVID-19 Quarantine

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 11:37 AM ET Jun. 30, 2020

Eight additional states have been added to New York's 14-day quarantine, including California, as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the south and western regions of the United States.

The full list of states requiring travelers to quarantine for 14 days now stands at: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Continue Reading

Lawmakers Seek Renter Protection Approvals

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

Housing advocates and lawmakers are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation that would expand protections for tenants before July's rent is due.

The bill was passed by the Legislature in May and was delivered to Cuomo on June 18. Known as the NYS Tenant Safe Harbor Act, the measure would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants who lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading

Vacay to States With High COVID Infection Rates? Maybe Not

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 8:24 PM ET Jun. 29, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Saturday that would allow employers to deny paid sick leave to employees that travel to states with high COVID-19 infection rates.

Right now, that includes only eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. However, every Monday, the health commissioners from the three states with travel advisories, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Jersey, will be meeting to examine infection rates of other states to update that list on Tuesday.

Continue Reading

Cuomo Worries The Next COVID Outbreak Could Come From A Spiking State

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's coronavirus caseload is -- to borrow Gov. Andrew Cuomo's visual metaphor -- finally descending the mountain.

Less 900 cases remain in New York hospitals and the infection rate out of tens of thousands of tests each day has tiptoed around 1 percent over the last several days. New York is finding hotspots -- a slate company in Washington County, a manufacturer in Montgomery County, a graduation in Westchester County -- but that also means the virus is be tracked back to a source and the infection can be slowed.

Continue Reading

Education Officials Seek $19.9M For Remote, Blended Learning

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York education officials are seeking $19.9 million in federal funding for developing new education models as schools consider how to bring students back in September amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Each day it becomes increasingly clear that the pandemic has further exacerbated the equity gaps among our students who were already most at risk and marginalized,” Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “While nothing can replace the importance of face to face instruction, with these funds, we hope to effectively implement blended instructional approaches that meet the needs of all children.”

Continue Reading

Cuomo Urges Trump To Sign Executive Order For Mask Wearing

BY Nick Reisman New York State

President Donald Trump should sign an executive order to require people to wear a mask while in public in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said.

At the same time, Cuomo urged the president to wear a mask himself while in public.

Continue Reading

Youth Advocacy Groups Oppose Transferring NYPD To DOE

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than a dozen youth groups in a letter to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Monday urged him to completely remove police officers from the education system and oppose transferring officers from the NYPD to the Department of Education.

The letter comes amid a broader push from some advocates to end the presence of police in schools in the wake of George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis and a broader national debate over the future of policing and law enforcement policy.

Continue Reading

Senate Democrats Open To Loan Approval For New York City

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York City should have "limited" authorization for a loan to bolster its coffers as the pandemic has ripped through the ciity's finances, but Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also urged patience in developing a plan.

The top Democrat in the state Senate over the weekend in a statement backed the concept of granting loan approval for New York City, a key step for Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.

Continue Reading

Bill Would Expand Earned Income Tax Credit as Pandemic Recession Will Likely Linger

BY Nick Reisman NY State of Politics Blog

A bill would expand the state's earned income tax credit in order to benefit low-income households that were likely hit hard by the economic fallout created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, is meant to provide a boost to those households amid widespread job losses and virtual lack of economic activity during the spring months in New York that shriveled tax coffers at all levels of government in the state.

Continue Reading

Cuomo: COVID Cases Continue To Fall, But A Decision On Schools Remains Difficult

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 10:44 AM ET Jun. 28, 2020

Hospitalizations from coronavirus in New York fell below 900 cases as more than 60,000 tests in the last day found a positive rate of less than 1 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Sunday announced.

Five people died from the virus on Saturday, the lowest level since March, while 616 new COVID-19 cases were discovered from 61,906 tests.

Continue Reading

New York's Friday Infection Rate Falls Below 1 Percent of Those Tested

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's coronavirus infection rate fell below 1 percent of the thousands of people tested in the last day, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced on Saturday.

More than 70,000 tests on Friday found 703 new coronavirus cases, a rate of .96 percent. 13 people died from the virus, the governor's office said, and 908 people are hospitalized as discharges continue at a steady clip.

Continue Reading

Court Again Sides With AG James on Trump's Border Wall Funding

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A U.S. appeals court on Friday backed a lower court's decision that bars President Donald Trump from shifting military funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The legal challenge to the funding plan had been filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of a coalition of state attorneys general opposing the move.

Continue Reading

Bucking New York Guidance, Federal Judge Relaxes Cap on Religious Gatherings

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York state's cap on religious gathering capacity was blocked by a federal judge on Friday, but attendees must still adhere to social distancing of at least 6 feet.

The legal challenge to the occupancy limit had been filed by Catholic priests in Central New York and a rabbi in the state's Hudson Valley region.

Continue Reading

Labor Department Employees Allege They Were Not Paid Overtime For COVID-19 Work

BY Morgan McKay New York State
UPDATED 2:07 PM ET Jun. 26, 2020

A grievance has been filed against the New York State Department of Labor, the Department of Health, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and other state agencies for allegedly failing to pay its workers overtime for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grievance filed by Wayne Spence, who is the president of the Public Employees Federation, states that the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Unit (PS&T) was not fairly compensated for their COVID-related overtime assignments that were mandated by the state.

Continue Reading

The WFP Wins Beyond The Headlines

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Working Families Party has faced its share of political challenges in New York, the least of which is securing its ballot status for the future.

But the progressive ballot line also feels like it has the wind at its back again amid a series of high-profile and lesser-watched races on primary day this week.

Continue Reading

Cuomo Says New York Offering Assistance to States With High COVID Rates

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York is offering assistance to states that have high coronavirus infection rates as the state faces a reversal of where it was at in March and April, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday.

The state's overall infection rate over a seven-day average is the lowest in the country, Cuomo said. More than 60,000 tests conducted in the last 24 hours found an infection rate of 1.3 percent, Cuomo said.

Continue Reading

House of Representatives Approves Police Reform Measures

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A package of police reforms meant to boost law enforcement transparency and ban the use of chokeholds was approved Thursday evening by the House of Representatives.

The measures were approved roughly a month after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Continue Reading

New York To Continue Allowing Cocktails-To-Go

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York will continue to allow customers to place to-go drink orders as restaurants and bars continue to struggle in the pandemic-induced economic recession.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration had previously waived the regulation barring to-go drink orders as restaurants across the state shuttered in March, but were able to remain open for take out orders. The move had been applauded by restaurants amid a darkening financial picture for them for much of the year.

Continue Reading

New York's Quarantine Mandate For Travelers: Is It Legal?

BY Morgan McKay New York State
UPDATED 9:14 PM ET Jun. 25, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that people traveling from states with high COVID-19 infection rates will be subject to a 14-day quarantine when they enter New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Right now, this only includes people coming from nine states, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Florida, and Utah.

Continue Reading

8 Questions About the Tri-State COVID-19 Quarantine

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have announced a Tri-State 14-day quarantine for people coming into those states from states with a high coronavirus infection rate.

The move comes after those states saw an early surge in coronavirus infections which has subsequently subsided. But in the south and west, the virus is quickly gaining momentum.

Continue Reading

Astorino Launches A Bid For State Senate

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican Rob Astorino formally launched his long-in-the-works campaign for the state Senate this week as he seeks a comeback to elected office.

Astorino, the 2014 GOP nominee for governor and the former Westchester County executive, is challenging Democrat Peter Harckham for a suburban Hudson Valley Senate district.

Continue Reading

County Governments To Get Millions In COVID Relief

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York counties are recieving $323 million in Medicaid funding as part of coronavirus relief money from the federal government, the state Department of Health on Thursday announced.

The money is part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and is being disbursed to counties whose governments have been financially hard hit by the virus and have spent heavily to respond the crisis.

Continue Reading

New York COVID-19 Hospitalizations Fall Below 1,000 Patients

BY Nick Reisman New York State
UPDATED 10:10 AM ET Jun. 25, 2020

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations have fallen below 1,000 patients for the first time since March, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said in an interview with CNN.

Total hospitalizations in New York now stand at 996 people due to the virus as the infection rate over the last week has remained at around 1 percent of the tens of thousands of daily tests conducted.

Continue Reading

Cut to Services, Higher Taxes, and Debt: What Counties Face With Loss of Sales Tax Revenue

BY Nick Reisman New York State

In Erie County, 40 percent of its 2018 revenues came from the sales tax. Onondaga County's sales tax share was nearly 43 percent. And Broome County's sales tax accounted for more than a quarter of the cash it took in that year.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a significant budget problem for county and local governments that rely on sales taxes as a source of revenue as commerce drew to a standstill in mid-March and the economy is slowly reopening over the last several weeks in New York, a report released this week by Moody's found.

Continue Reading

DOH: More Than 1,000 COVID-19 Focus Surveys Have Been Conducted in Nursing Homes

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 9:33 PM ET Jun. 24, 2020

Uncertainty is still swirling over who is to blame for the more than 6,200 coronavirus related deaths in nursing homes in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has many answers to this, pointing to CDC guidance from the White House, the vulnerability of nursing home patients, and he has even blamed nursing home staff for bringing the virus in.

Continue Reading

Green Party's Howie Hawkins Goes National

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Longtime activist Howie Hawkins is no stranger to running for elective office. This decade alone, he's run for governor of New York three times, Syracuse mayor, city auditor and common councilor. In the decade before that, he's run for the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

This year, he's running for the presidency as the Green Party's nominee. He's going national in a year in which voters are being presented with two stark choices by the mainstream parties, with millions of those voters having already made up their minds.

Continue Reading

5 Regions To Enter Phase 4 of Re-Opening Friday

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Five upstate regions will enter the fourth phase of the reopening by the end of the week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced on Wednesday.

Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, and the Southern Tier are "on track" for the fourth stage.

Continue Reading

New York Releases Phase 4 Guidance

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Wednesday morning released updated guidance for businesses that will be allowed to operate in the fourth reopening phase.

The guidance confirms that gyms, movie theaters and malls will not immediately be part of the fourth phase.

Continue Reading

A Good Night For 2 Trump Allies In New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Two Republican allies of President Donald Trump running in House races appeared likely to win their races on Tuesday, underscoring how the president remains popular with his GOP base in upstate New York.

Chris Jacobs, a state senator, declared victory late Tuesday in his special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Chris Collins in western New York.

Continue Reading

Local Government Aid Withheld As Federal Assistance Remains Up In The Air

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York is withhold millions of dollars in local government aid as the state government awaits federal pandemic relief, a move that is complicating budget making for cities across the state.

The numbers are massive: $20 million for Buffalo, $17 million for Rochester, more than a $11 million for Syracuse. The New York Conference of Mayors first highlighted the withheld aid, calling it "disturbing news."

Continue Reading

Malls, Gyms To Have Delayed Opening in Phase 4

BY Morgan McKay New York State

Although Governor Andrew Cuomo repeatedly laid out a strict four-phase reopening process, complete with 7 metrics each region had to meet, it seems there is an unofficial next phase after all.

Regional Control Boards, in charge of monitoring the rate of infection and conducting testing in their areas, were informed on Tuesday that malls, gym, movie theaters and outdoor theme parks were not cleared to reopen at the start of Phase 4.

Continue Reading

Why Joe Biden's New York Primary Win Matters

BY Susan Arbetter New York State
UPDATED 5:00 AM ET Jun. 24, 2020

There was not much drama in New York’s presidential primary this year since Joe Biden already locked up the Democratic nomination on Super Tuesday, but he still looked poised to walk away the winner — just by how much remained unanswered Tuesday evening.

As of 11 p.m., Biden amassed 66 percent of the vote total from early voting and day-of ballots. The thousands of absentee ballots sent out to New York voters have yet to be counted.

Continue Reading

What's on the Mind of the Voter? A Lot

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 7:17 PM ET Jun. 23, 2020

New Yorkers stayed home as a deadly pandemic swept through the state. They marched and protested against systemic racism when a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd last month.

And now, they're voting.

Continue Reading

Some People Reporting Missing or Late Absentee Ballots

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region
UPDATED 7:08 PM ET Jun. 23, 2020

More than 1.7 million New Yorkers requested an absentee ballot for this year’s primary, according to the State Board of Elections.

Now compare this to the 2016 presidential primary? Only a little over 150,000 requested absentee ballots for that primary. This high number of course is to be expected with coronavirus concerns and the rule changes surrounding absentee voting. But some people, like Kellie Killup, still have not received their ballots. So what are their options?

Continue Reading

Upstate Congressional Primaries To Watch: NY-22, NY-24, NY-27

BY Susan Arbetter New York State
UPDATED 3:33 PM ET Jun. 23, 2020

NY-22: Claudia Tenney vs. George Phillips

Let’s start in the Mohawk Valley where former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney wants a rematch with sitting Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi. First, Tenney has to get past Broome County Legislator George Phillips.

Continue Reading

Cuomo: Staff Brought COVID Into Nursing Homes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

COVID-positive staff unknowingly spread the coronavirus at nursing homes in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a TV interview on Tuesday as he continues to face scrutiny for the state's handling of the virus in long term care facilities and nursing homes.

The virus has led to more than 6,000 confirmed or presumed deaths in nursing homes in New York. Republicans in Congress as well as Democrats at the state level are considering investigations and hearings on the issue.

Continue Reading

New York's COVID Infection Rate Remains at 1 Percent

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's coronavirus infection rate stood at 1 percent out of 48,709 tests performed over the last 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Tuesday announced.

Twenty-seven people have died due to the virus, Cuomo said, an increase from 10 people the previous day.

Continue Reading

Bill Would Ban TikTok From State-Owned Devices

BY Morgan McKay New York State
UPDATED 5:28 AM ET Jun. 23, 2020

You’ve heard the songs on the radio and the choreographed dances have flooded your social media. But now some New York officials are concerned with the burgeoning social media app's origins in China.

State Senator Chris Jacobs introduced legislation that would ban people from downloading or using TikTok on state issued devices.

Continue Reading

What to Watch for on Primary Day in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New Yorkers are heading to the voting booths today to cast ballots in primary races from state Assembly to the presidency and decide a special election in Western New York that President Donald Trump has taken special interest in.

Unless they were one of the more than 1 million people who requested absentee ballots. Or voted early.

Continue Reading

How College Students Are Approaching the Primary This Year

BY Morgan McKay New York State
UPDATED 5:15 AM ET Jun. 23, 2020

In a typical primary season, college campuses are packed with groups handing out pamphlets on candidates and voting information.

Now with the primary moved to summer and college campuses mostly deserted, the way these groups are now working to reach young voters has changed.

Continue Reading

New York Votes Amid Pandemic Challenge

BY Nick Reisman New York State
UPDATED 5:00 AM ET Jun. 23, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed graduations, canceled concerts and upended the sports world. But democracy, hopefully, is the one thing the virus can't beat.

New Yorkers head to the polls on Tuesday in the midst of a pandemic that so far has killed more than 24,000 residents in this state. New cases of the virus have, for now, leveled off in the state to less than 1 percent of those tested as it spikes elsewhere in the country.

Continue Reading

Counties Have Infrastructure Wish List

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A list of $7.35 billion worth of infrastructure projects from county governments was sent to President Donald Trump and top lawmakers in Congress in an effort to boost the economy through an inverstment in improvement efforts in New York.

The projects and letter were compiled by the New York State Association of Counties, which listed proposals in 40 different counties around the state.

Continue Reading

Cuomo, Eyeing COVID Cases Outside New York, Talks Quarantines

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is speaking with his counterparts in New Jersey and Connecticut about people traveling from states with coronavirus cases that are increasing out of concern the virus could once again spike in the northeast, he told CNN in an interview on Monday.

Cuomo has not ruled out a potential quarantine for people traveling into New York from states like Florida and Texas as the infection rates there continue to increase. In New York, testing has shown an infection rate daily of less than 1 percent over the last several days.

Continue Reading

The Intriguing Primary Battle for Albany DA

BY Susan Arbetter Albany County
UPDATED 9:08 AM ET Jun. 22, 2020

The primary race for Albany County District Attorney has emerged as a battle to watch on Tuesday – and not only if you live in Albany County.

The incumbent, David Soares, was elected in 2004 as a reform candidate who called for dismantling the Rockefeller Drug Laws. But over his tenure, Soares has become unapologetic in his criticism of both bail and discovery reform – issues that have seen renewed interest in the wake of mass demonstrations against police brutality in communities of color sparked by the murder of George Floyd.

Continue Reading
SIGN UP FOR OUR E-BLASTS
Enter your email address below to subscribe to our "Morning Memo," breaking news alerts, and more!

LATEST MORNING MEMO

More Politics Headlines

BLOGROLL

You May Also Be Interested In