Government

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's been talk of  amending the state’s recently enacted gun control law, to permit a ten-bullet magazine clip in certain circumstances. Silver remained noncommittal about the change.

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.

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”.

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.

A group pressing for public campaign financing has compiled a list of large corporations who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to some New York lawmakers. They charge that the donations are preventing the legislature from closing what they say are corporate tax loopholes.

Governor Cuomo’s Court of Appeals nominee was approved in the State Senate on a voice vote, after an unusually contentious process.

Cuomo’s nominee Jenny Rivera had already faced extensive grilling from Senate Republicans, who are in a coalition government with several break away Democrats. Then, during the vote on the Senate floor, some GOP Senators rose to say that she was not the best candidate.

New York’s newest Senator, Cecilia Tkaczyk, has been on the job for just over a week now, after a two and half month long court battle over absentee ballots resulted in her narrrow eighteen-vote win. Tkaczyk, a sheep farmer, school board member and former legislative housing analyst, is a Democrat who won the newly drawn Senate seat in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys that was designed for a Republican.

Senator Tkaczyk says she remained confident during the lengthy legal machinations.

Two weeks after passing new gun control measures, New York officials have begun holding public forums to discuss what’s in the law. At Tuesday's forum in Endwell, Broome County, about 100 attendees came out to raise their questions and vent their frustrations over the new law.

State Police Deputy Superintendent Kevin Gagan led the forum and explained how each of the measures will work.

“When it comes to these assault weapons, if you owned one before the law took effect, you can keep it. You just have to register it,” said Gagan.

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