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Lawmakers’ hopes for pay raise dim ›
It’s looking less likely that state lawmakers will be getting a long-awaited pay raise next year. A commission designed to take politics out of the issue is now coming under political pressure to not grant the salary increase. State senators and assemblymembers, as well as governors, have not received a pay increase since 1999. A streak of record late budgets in the early 2000's and a series of recent corruption scandals have made it politically difficult for lawmakers to vote for a pay raise. So, in 2015, they agreed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set up a commission to study pay increases in order to remove the issue from day-to-day politics. But Cuomo has been needling legislators about the issue since the summer, saying lawmakers’ performance “hasn’t been great,” pointing out that 29 legislators have been implicated in crimes — including both former legislative leaders, who are facing stiff prison sentences for corruption. Cuomo said lawmakers need to appear before the commission
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:44:00 +0000
Jefferson County farmers want more drought assistance ›
A large part of New York state is still in severe to extreme drought. The USDA will now cover the cost of new pipelines and wells for farmers in Jefferson and Lewis Counties to reach more water. But farms in other parts of the state, like the Finger Lakes, are getting more attention.
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:40:00 +0000
New report critical of New York's clean energy plan ›
A new report from the conservative Empire Center, a fiscal watchdog, finds that New York state's Clean Energy Standard plan to boost renewable sources of energy and support struggling nuclear plants could cost more than the state estimates. The goal is to raise the amount of energy it gets from renewables, like wind turbines and solar panels, to 50 percent by 2030 and to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent during that time. The plan hinges on making energy providers like utility companies buy renewable and nuclear power because they do not emit carbon dioxide. That is the wrong approach according to Empire Center policy analyst Ken Girardin. "The governor has picked out the prescription instead of letting the patient decide how we’re going to get there," Girardin said. "We could get the same kind of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions at a lower price and probably with even more innovation if the public service commission or even better the state legislature created a looser
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:37:00 +0000
Welch Allyn adding jobs with help from state tax breaks ›
Tax breaks from New York state are helping Welch Allyn add jobs to it’s Skaneateles Falls factory, and ensure that the company stays in central New York. Nine hundred people currently work at Welch Allyn in Skaneateles Falls, creating the medical technology found in many doctor’s offices. The company’s been a central New York mainstay for a century, but when Hill-Rom Holdings of Chicago bought Welch Allyn 18 months ago, there was concern it would leave the area. That’s when Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, started working with the company to ensure it would stay in Skaneateles Falls. The result is an up to $12 million incentive package made up of $6 million in Excelsior tax credits, and $6 million in an Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant. Both are dependent on job creation and investment. Welch Allyn President Eldon Shader says that is evident in a new $4.2 million investment in the plant, and the creation of 100 new jobs. “We’re still developing
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:29:00 +0000
Cuomo says his 2017 agenda will include anti-corruption reforms ›
It’s been a week since a federal corruption investigation exploded in New York state, bringing fraud and bribery and charges against developers and state officials for allegedly running a pay-to-play scheme involving upstate economic development projects. Gov. Andrew Cuomo admits it’s been an emotional time for him personally because one of the accused, Joseph Percoco, is a former top aide and a longtime Cuomo family friend.“You know someone for a long period of time and you trust them and, according to the complaint at least, they violated the public trust, which has been critical to me and my father before me," Cuomo said. Cuomo said he had no knowledge of any alleged kickback scheme. He said his job now is to recoup any taxpayer dollars owed the state and make sure that the economic development projects involved go forward. He said his State of the State message next January will include a reform package that will provide more checks and balances when it comes to awarding state
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 01:46:48 +0000


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