By MICHAEL POWELL and NICHOLAS CONFESSOREALBANY — To wander into the grand pile of stone that is the State Capitol, to walk its cavernous sandstone and marble halls, is to find an absurdist play in its third act.Up on the third floor, in the State Senate, no party can muster a voting majority, and, pending a special election in two weeks, a convicted domestic abuser could cast the deciding vote.Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/nyregion/06albany.html
by Ryan KnutsonGov. David Paterson of New York insisted this week that he wouldn't heed calls for his resignation, despite his administration's being roiled by two scandals. But no matter what he does, he is still entitled to his full pension once he retires. In fact, there is nothing any New York state employee can do that would cause them to lose a pension; not even a corruption conviction, being fired for embezzlement or a prison sentence.
By Liz Krueger and Keith WrightAs New York State faces another devastating budget deficit, we need new solutions that raise revenue so that we can prevent deeper budget cuts to our schools and healthcare system—without raising taxes.
With the governor's office twisting in chaos over a domestic violence scandal, you could say things are far from business-as-usual in Albany. But that may be good.In the past, business-as-usual has brought New York dysfunction, high taxes and government spending sprees. This time last year, the economic fallout from banking failures was perfectly plain to read in foreclosure and jobless numbers. Yet how did state government react? It raised spending by nearly 9 percent, including $7 billion in new taxes and fees, only to return midyear to make painful cuts.
By Cara MatthewsSenators approved a bill this week that sets up a legal mechanism for designating a surrogate to act on an incapacitated person's behalf, legislation supporters say is long overdue and will reduce additional stress placed on friends and families during crises.Passage of the bill is a "monumental achievement that should be celebrated by all New Yorkers," Gov. David Paterson said in a statement. He pledged to sign the legislation, which was previously approved by the Assembly.
By Kaitlyn RossWhile the Governor is presenting a dire picture of New York's economic crisis, the Senate and Assembly are saying the state's budget crisis is even worse than Paterson is letting on. As Capital Tonight's Kaitlyn Ross explains, with both chambers presenting different numbers for the state's burgeoning financial gap, 2011 could be an embattled budget year.Read more: http://news10now.com/watertown-north-news-1052-content/politics/497023/l...
By Sara GatesSenate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. defected from the Democrats and then defected from the Republicans during last year's Albany madness, but he'll always be loyal to his landlord pals.
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/