Recipients of historic preservation grants say they help preserve NY’s heritage

Thirty historic sites in 21 counties in New York received $239,634 in preservation grant money, and they say it makes a difference in a region where the economy is struggling. The grants were distributed by the Preservation League of New York State, along with help from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. They were awarded to groups ranging from an antique boat museum to a dance center to help with preserving cultural heritage across New York....

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The New York State Assembly voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour. But the measure remains stalled in the State Senate.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver added yet another reason to his long list of reasons he thinks the state’e minimum wage is too low and needs to be increased. He says we are in the midst of a “jobless recovery”, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at a record high, past 14,000.

A push to ban the fitness supplement DMAA brought a sports hero to the capitol and parents who say they lost their son to the substance.

Senate Co Leader Jeff Klein is pressing to ban the performance enhancing supplement DMAA, also know n as Jack 3 D in New York ,saying it causes dangerous conditions like rapid heart beat, a spike in blood pressure, and in some cases, death from stroke or heart attack.

“This won’t be tolerated,” Senator Klein said.

Senate Republicans are pushing for middle class tax breaks in the new state budget, including a return to the STAR property tax rebate checks curtailed in 2009.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos wants to increase the tax break for dependents and the child tax credit , and return to the rebate checks for home owners part of the  STAR  property tax program. He says the average family of four could end up with $1000 more dollars each year.

“It always seems that middle income family is the family that is getting choked in this state ,” Skelos said.

Hydrofracking for natural gas is on hold in New York while the Department of Health reviews its potential health impacts. If New York permits the controversial drilling technique, one of the obstacles is how to handle the huge amounts of wastewater produced by each fracked well. In neighboring Pennsylvania, the use of privately owned treatment operations is spreading.

Governor Cuomo faces a tough choice as he continues to ponder the decision on whether to allow fracking in New York.  As Karen DeWitt reports, there’s no easy way to win for the governor.

It seems wherever Governor Cuomo goes these days, he’s followed by protesters who implore him not to allow hydro fracking in New York.  Hundreds gathered in the ornate Million Dollar staircase in the Capitol, where they listen to celebrities and actors like Mark Ruffalo, aka the Hulk.

“We’ll cream you if you open New York State to hydro fracking,” Ruffalo bellowed, to cheers.

A rally against New York’s newly enacted gun control laws drew one of the largest crowds to the State Capitol in recent decades.

With just three weeks and one day to go before a state budget deadline, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders met to assess how far they have to go to reach a deal.

In order to meet their self imposed deadline of March 21st to complete a spending plan, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers will have to work through some thorny issues like disagreements over the state’s minimum wage and how to expand casino gambling.

“We have a number of issues on the table that are challenging,” Cuomo said. “It’s going well, but am I concerned? Yes”.

The Broome County Legislature approved a new Office of Energy Development during its meeting on Thursday, though the purpose of the office is not clear.

A leading budget watchdog group is urging rejection of a key component of Governor Cuomo’s budget plan. It would allow cities and schools to put off some payments to their pension funds.

The Governor’s proposal, known as the pension stabilization plan, would allow schools and municipalities to “smooth” out their pension payments over a 25 year period, by paying less now, but more later.

Governor Cuomo made several changes to his budget plan in 30 day amendments . As Karen DeWitt reports, the amendments range from imposing a teacher evaluation plan on New York City, to cutting the cost of hunting licenses.

Cuomo amended his budget to impose a teacher evaluation system on New York City. The Bloomberg Administration and the teacher’s union failed to reach agreement by a January deadline set by Cuomo, and the City stood to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in school aid.

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