GOVERNOR CUOMO

Advocates Push Back Against Rolling Back Bail Law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Advocates for overhauling New York’s criminal justice laws are pushing back against the growing effort to alter the newly enacted cash bail law.

Democratic state lawmakers over the last several weeks have been slammed by Republicans, law enforcement officials and prosecutors over the effects of ending cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies: The release of people facing charges like robbery and manslaughter.

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Cuomo Wants To Bolster Police-Community Relations

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A proposal released Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is meant to bolster relations between local police agencies and the communities.

The move would empower Attorney General Letitia James’s office to help improve police-community relations and provide help to improve it.

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What Issues Will Dominate Albany In 2020

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address on Wednesday, detailing his agenda for the new year.

Already more than two dozen proposals have been released by his office, touching on issues that range from rebuilding a ski center in the Adirondacks to gun control.

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Cuomo Calls Bail Law Changes ‘A Work In Progress’

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Potential adjustments could be made to the state’s newly enacted bail law changes, which end requiring cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felony charges, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said in New York City.

His comments further cracked open the door to potential changes to the measures, which took effect at the start of the year and have been criticized by local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and Republicans.

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Central NY Officials Appeal FEMA Flood Aid Decision

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Officials in central New York on Friday sought to appeal the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to not provide further relief aid to areas affected by flooding in October.

FEMA did provide public assistance for damages to municipal infrastructure, but individual assistance was denied.

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Census: New York Led Population Decline In Last Year

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lost the most population of any state in the country between 2018 and 2019, a Census estimate released on Monday found, continuing an ongoing trend of sluggish population change in the last 10 years.

The state’s overall population fell by 0.4 percent or 76,790 people. Illinois, which lost a similar percentage of residents, saw its population drop by 51,520.

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Tip Wage For Workers In ‘Miscellaneous’ Industries To End

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A year-end order issued on Tuesday by state labor officials will eliminate the subminimum wage for workers in so-called “miscellaneous” industries across the state.

The move is expected to affect more than 70,000 tipped wage employees, according to announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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Cuomo Admin Begins Medicaid Rate Cut

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As the calendar flipped to 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration backed a 1 percent rate cut for the Medicaid program, a move that will reduce payments in the program by hundreds of millions of dollars.

The development, announced with little fanfare in the State Register on New Year’s eve, comes amid a $4 billion gap in the Medicaid program for the 2019-20 fiscal year and a $6.1 billion hole for the 2020-21 state fiscal year that begins April 1.

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Cuomo Calls For Crack Down On ‘Ghost Guns’

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed Thursday a crackdown on so-called “ghost guns” in New York by requiring firearm parts to be sold by authorized buyers and have the same eligibility requirements as a completed firearm.

At the same time, Cuomo wants all “major parts” of a gun to receive a serial number.

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Cuomo Approves Elevator Safety Measure

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill that is meant to bolster elevator safety in New York was approved on Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new law will require those who design, construct, inspect and maintain elevators to be licensed in the state.

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Thruway Authority Proposes Toll Hikes For Cuomo Bridge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The state Thruway Authority on Thursday proposed the first toll increases for the newly opened Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, with the cost growing from $4.75 to $5.75 by 2022 for E-ZPass users.

For those without E-ZPass will see a 30 percent increase, leading to tolls of $6.83 in 2021 and $7.48 in 2022. Paying by mail, the toll would include a $2 surcharge beginning in 2021 on monthly bills.

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Cuomo Wants To License New York Debt Collectors

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Debt collectors would be licensed by state insurance and banking regulators in a bid by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to crack down on abuse within the industry.

Cuomo on Thursday rolled out the latest State of the State proposal ahead of the Jan. 8 address addressing the debt collection industry. The move could affect the 1 in 4 New Yorkers who have had their debt subject to collections.

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Cuomo Back Ban On Single-Use Styrofoam

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday proposed a ban on Styrofoam containers and products like packing peanuts, a move that would restrict their use and distribution in the state.

The ban would effect common items like single-use food containers. And the measure would allow the state Department of Environmental Conservation to limit or ban other packaging material considered harmful to the environment.

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Cuomo Calls for Closure of Loophole in Sexual Consent Law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called for the tightening of the state’s sexual consent laws, a measure he plans to include in his 2020 agenda.

The proposal addresses what Cuomo said is a loophole in the law that excludes incapacitation due to the voluntary ingestion of drugs or alcohol that limits the full prosecution of sexual assaults, including when the victim is not able to give consent to sex and the inability was apparent.

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Cuomo’s Theme for New Year Focuses on Progress

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Each year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveils a new theme to reflect the agenda he’s pushing in Albany — a bit of sloganeering to highlight and summarize his plans.

It went little noticed, but on Sunday as he unveiled his first 2020 State of the State proposal with a new gun control plan, Cuomo also revealed his 2020 theme: “Making Progress Happen.”

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New Law Creates African-American History Commission

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A law signed on Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will establish the 400 Years of African-American History Commission, a panel that will be tasked with developing activities throughout the state as a way of recognizing the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the colonies.

“This landmark anniversary is an opportunity to once again reflect on the evils of slavery and to honor the struggle and triumph of centuries of African-Americans who have fought against barriers of racial discrimination and enriched and enhanced the fabric of our country,” Cuomo said in a statement.

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Cuomo Plans State Of The State for Jan. 8

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuommo will hold his 2020 State of the State address on Jan. 8, his office announced on Friday.

The address coincides with the first day of the legislative session for the year.

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Health Officials Extend Vaping Products Ban Amid Legal Challenge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A panel at the state Department of Health on Thursday moved to extend the state’s ban on flavored vaping products as it faces a legal challenge from an industry group.

The ban, first approved in September, was set to expire this weekend after a 90 day clock wound down. Enforcement of the ban itself has been delayed by a court order amid the lawsuit from the Vaping Association.

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State GOP Suing Cuomo To Force NY-27 Special Election

BY Ryan Whalen City of Albany

The New York State Republican Party filed a lawsuit Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Monroe County asking a judge to compel the governor to call a special election as soon as possible for NY’s vacant 27th Congressional seat.

“We feel no choice here but to sue Governor Cuomo to do his job, just like other political leaders have had to do in the past, to call a special election within this district,” state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said.

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Watchdog Group Sues Over Cuomo, Hochul Pay Raises

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A fiscally conservative legal watchdog group on Wednesday announced it had filed a lawsuit challenging pay raises for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The Government Justice Center in its legal challenge said the joint legislative resolution backing the pay raises for Cuomo and Hochul was unconstitutional.

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New Law Bars Political Parties From Changing Their Names

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill approved on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cumo would bar new ballot lines from changing their names once created.

“New Yorkers have the right to know who and what exactly they’re voting for when they go to the ballot box,” Governor Cuomo said. “By making this simple change to our election laws, we can ensure political organizations don’t pull the wool over voters’ eyes by claiming to be something they are not in order to gain multi-year legal party status.”

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Cuomo Knocks Deceptive Facebook Ads On HIV Drug

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement called on Facebook to remove ads critical of the effectiveness of an HIV-prevention drug called Truvada that have been called misleading and deceptive.

The ads have been blasted by LGBT advocates, who have called the ads that question Truvada’s effectiveness a hazard to public health. It’s estimated millions of users may have been exposed to the ads.

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Cuomo Signs Absentee Voting Bills

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Two bills meant to streamline the absentee voting process in New York were approved on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

One bill is meant to ensure absentee ballots sent voters match those used to vote in the district on Election Day.

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Cuomo Fundraiser To Feature Reception With Ron Perelman

BY Nick Reisman Albany County

Gov. Andrew Cuomo next month will hold a fundraiser that will feature a cocktail reception with Ronald Perelman, a businessman and prominent political fundraiser.

Tickets to the event on Jan. 13 range from $5,000 to $15,000, according to an invitation released by Cuomo’s campaign.

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Cuomo Signs Bill Creating Hemp Regulatory Plan

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill approved Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will establish a regulatory system for the sale and production of hemp and hemp-related products in the state amid the growing popularity of the ingredient in consumer products.

Meanwhile, Cuomo announced plans to hold a hemp summit in January to discuss policies related in the industry.

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