Governor Cuomo faces perhaps his biggest challenge yet as the end of his third legislative session rapidly approaches. His poll numbers are falling, and his agenda is in danger.

When Governor Cuomo began the session, back in early January, his poll numbers were soaring. His approval rating, following a fall that was spent cleaning up the damage from Hurricane Sandy, was at an almost unheard of 74%.  A confident Cuomo embarked on an ambitious progressive leaning agenda.

Governor Cuomo is finally releasing legislation for his 10 point women’s agenda. It includes a provision to codify the  abortion rights in the federal Roe v Wade decision into New York law. The governor says he’s been offered “no assurances” that it will pass the legislature.

Governor Cuomo released a bill to authorize three new gambling casinos in upstate New York, if the legislature agrees to his plan and overs approve it in the fall.

Governor Cuomo has been pushing the plan for upstate casinos as an economic development tool for several months now. The constitutional amendment needed, which has already received partial passage, calls for 7 casinos.  Cuomo wants just three destination gambling centers for now.

Urban Blight

Jun 4, 2013


The issue of urban blight is a familiar one to many Southern Tier residents. Empty warehouse and manufacturing buildings are a stark reminder of businesses and jobs that no longer exist. They’re more than just an eyesore - these vacant and abandoned buildings drive down market values, pose a fire hazard, and can be a drain on local resources.

There’s three weeks to go in the legislative session, and advocates are pushing hard for two of Governor Cuomo’s agenda items- translating the federal abortion rights in the Roe v. Wade decision into New York law, and enacting public financing of statewide political campaigns. The governor, meanwhile, is focusing on his proposal to bring tax free zones to upstate public college campuses.

Governor Cuomo has been traveling the state, promoting his plan to create tax free business zones at college campuses.  He’s also running ads, paid for by the State Democratic Party. Now, one of the state’s largest unions is countering that effort with its own message.

Cuomo has gathered local government leaders and business groups to the Capitol to demonstrate support for his idea to create the tax free zones at public colleges, some private universities and some state owned properties.

The steady drum beat of scandal after scandal in the New York State legislature has led many to wonder whether lawmakers can focus on passing any major bills by the end of the session, which is fast approaching. As Karen DeWitt reports, the legislature returns Wednesday and has just four work weeks to act on items ranging from campaign finance reform to abortion rights, to economic development plans.

Governor Cuomo has been traveling the state promoting a plan to allow new businesses to go tax free for up to a decade if they locate near a State University campus.  The plan, which is yet to be drafted into bill form, has raised some questions.

Governor Cuomo has been to several key upstate cities in recent days, promoting a plan to declare tax free zones around state college campuses, in hopes of attracting new businesses.

After the War

May 22, 2013

Every day, an active-duty soldier is discharged from the military and returns home to start a new part of his or her life. Some return because their service has ended, others because of injuries obtained while serving. All of them will face a period of readjustment to civilian life.  

[View the story "Community Conversation: After the War" on Storify]

One day after the state’s powerful Assembly Speaker admitted “glaring failures” in his handling of a sexual abuse case, the Albany establishment seemed to be moving on, with the usual round of press conferences, bill passage, and leaders meetings.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver attended a top level  meeting with Governor Cuomo and Senate leaders on casino gambling ,  and oversaw passage of a one house bill on the Dream Act, to help children of undocumented immigrants get funding for college.