By Erin BillupsAfter decades of dysfunction, more light is being shed on how lawmakers spend taxpayer dollars. Good government groups have criticized several legislators for how they spent member items and some of even suggested they should have the money for pet projects in their districts pulled all together. Now, facing a multibillion dollar budget gap, advocates for change could get their wish. Our Erin Billups has more on why the tough economic times may mean there's less pork to go around anyway.
By Dan RivoliFebruary 17, 2010State Sen. Liz Krueger said it was unfortunate that her erstwhile colleague Hiram Monserrate did not resign after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.Instead, a bipartisan panel was formed and recommended his expulsion from the Legislature. Krueger voted with most of her colleagues in support of the measure that passed, 53 to eight.Read more: http://ourtownny.com/2010/02/17/krueger-dumps-senator/
By Jefferson Siegel As parents continue to challenge a plan that would shuffle students among several Chelsea schools, a half-dozen local politicians have joined in calling for the Department of Education to withdraw its proposal to relocate the Clinton School for Writers and Artists from its current home at PS 11 to PS 33.
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUMNew York’s ambitious experiment that closed parts of Broadway to vehicles last spring will become permanent, city officials said on Thursday, even though it fell short of achieving its chief objective: improving traffic flow.
Bill would allow giving vaccine to minors without parental consentBy RICK KARLINALBANY -- The debate over making cervical cancer vaccines available to young women is coming to the state Legislature today.A group of anti-vaccine activists plans to attend this morning's Senate Codes Committee hearing to protest a bill that would let health care professionals give the vaccine to women younger than 18 without parental consent.
By JEREMY W. PETERSA group of Senate Democrats, concerned about efforts within their party to block the removal of a senator convicted of domestic violence, say they will attempt to force a vote to expel him this week even if they cannot win the support of State Senate leaders.The senators are trying to head off an effort by other Democrats who are pushing for a vote to censure, but not expel, Hiram Monserrate, the Queens Democrat who was found guilty last fall of assaulting his companion.Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/nyregion/08hiram.html
By Karen DeWitt ALBANY, NEW YORK (WXXI) - The state's budget deficit has grown yet again, and has now reached $8.2 billion dollars, says Governor Paterson, who says another $750 million dollar hole has opened up in the past couple of weeks.Paterson, saying "January was a difficult month", says a decline in personal income tax collections, due to uncertainty over Wall Street bonuses, and higher than anticipated Medicaid costs, contributed to the new deficit.
By CARA MATTHEWSThere is a push from some lawmakers to change the state's fiscal year from April 1 to June 1.Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, chairperson of the Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform, says the change would make a big difference. Having a fiscal year that begins before the April 15 filing deadline for income-tax returns means the governor and lawmakers put together the budget without the most complete information on state revenues, she said.
By Cara MatthewsALBANY -- New York has not always had the distinction of being the only state with a fiscal year that begins April 1. The start date was changed from Oct. 1 to July 1 in 1916. It has been April 1 since 1943, but now there is a push from some lawmakers to change it to June 1. What difference does it make? A big one, says the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform, Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan.
By DAVID SEIFMAN, City Hall Bureau ChiefALBANY -- Facing the possible loss of $1.3 billion in state aid, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday played the doomsday card -- warning that if the money isn't restored, he'd have to make sweeping cuts and layoffs that would impact everything from the size of the police force to the number of garbage pickups."The consequences would be appalling," the mayor testified before a joint legislative budget hearing.
As the legislature began budget hearings today, State Senator Liz Krueger (Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee) called on the legislature to ensure that the final state budget is balanced fairly and equitably with regards to local governments.“I understand that we are facing an extremely difficult budget and there will be large cuts to many programs, but we must make sure that the pain is distributed equitably and appropriately,” said Senator Krueger. “In the Governor’s proposed 2010-11 executive budget, New York City shoulders a disproportionate amount of pain.”
By David KingSen. Liz Krueger, vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, represents a particularly vocal constituent. You may have heard of him–Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg was in Albany today testifying about the inequities he sees New York City suffering under Gov. David Paterson’s 2010-2011 budget plan. Krueger’s office issued a press release this evening echoing Bloomberg’s complaints.
After New York’s Legislature passed an ethics package last week, Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan who voted for the bill, told her colleagues, “We need to not pat ourselves on the back that much because we have further to go.” Actually, they should not congratulate themselves at all. Gov. David Paterson was right to threaten to veto the bill, and if the Legislature sends it to him, he should do just that. Meanwhile, the governor should negotiate something much better:Read full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/opinion/24sun2.html
By JEREMY W. PETERSALBANY — With 59 largely unenthusiastic ayes, the State Senate on Wednesday approved a package of bills meant to combat political corruption and require elected officials to disclose more about their outside financial interests.Despite more than three hours of debate and grousing from many senators that they felt the bills were at best a half-step toward meaningful change, only one senator voted no.Read full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/nyregion/21ethics.html
Gov. David A. Paterson's second State of the State address included the Executive Chamber's proposed legislation for additional state ethics reform.Named the Reform Albany Act, the plan would create an independent State Government Ethics Commission that would have ten members chosen by legislative leaders.
Paterson administration officials held a briefing this morning to formally discuss Paterson’s “Reform Albany Act.” The legislation is expected to be fully unveiled during Gov. David Paterson’s State of the State Address, which he delivers at 1 p.m. tomorrow.