ny government

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

ALBANY (WSKG) - Now that the US House of Representatives has voted for a tax overhaul plan that some state leaders say will harm New York, the action moves to the Senate, where a vote is expected after Thanksgiving. 

Most of central and northern New York’s members of Congress voted for the Republican tax overhaul bill which passed the House of Representatives Thursday.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is slamming the tax overhaul plan passed Thursday by the House of Representatives, saying it will be “poison” to New York.

Businesses, school leaders and progressive activists in New York also spoke out against the House vote and the provision to end the state and local tax deduction, saying they will be harmful to state residents.

The governor also criticized the tax plan as a corporate giveaway.

jason paris / flickr

ALBANY (WSKG) - Several corruption trials are set for 2018 after a scandal involving nine of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former associates who worked on his administration’s economic development projects. Advocates say they will continue to push for reforms to prevent such problems from happening again.

Ryan Delaney / Innovation Trail

ALBANY (WSKG) - Two reports issued in recent days indicate that Gov. Andrew Cuomo may be facing his most difficult budget in seven years.

The midyear financial report by the governor’s budget office has lowered revenue estimates by $850 million for the current budget year and the next two years. And it finds that next year’s projected deficit is now at $4.4 billion, if spending growth continues unchecked.

Cuomo began sounding the alarm weeks before the report was released.

wallyg / Flickr

ALBANY (WSKG) - The state’s top economic development official says a plan in Congress to eliminate the historic tax credit program  would harm efforts to revitalize cities in New York.

Empire State Development Chair Howard Zemsky , testifying at an Assembly hearing,  says the tax incentives have been used to rehab crumbling historic buildings into shops and living spaces, and “have had a huge impact on driving economic development” . The program gives developers a tax rebate of 20% for five years after the projects are completed. Zemsky says it’s misguided to end the subsidies.

Matt Ryan, WMHT

ALBANY (WSKG) - Testimony at an Assembly hearing Monday grew heated as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development chair defended some faltering job creation programs.

Empire State Development Chair Howard Zemsky also signaled the state may be backing away from a key program to give tax breaks to startup entrepreneurs.

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File

Supporters of holding a Constitutional Convention to fix problems in state government say they are disappointed with the resounding defeat of the measure in Tuesday’s voting, but they say they are not giving up.

Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo and New York Senator Chuck Schumer are once again warning that New Yorkers will be hurt if the Republican tax overhaul plan in Congress is approved. 

Schumer, who is Senate Democratic Leader, says while the tax plan has changed from the original version, 71% of the deductions that now benefit state residents would be eliminated. The plan would end deductions for state and local income taxes, and cap the property tax deduction at $10,000 a year.  

“The plan will increase taxes on New Yorkers by $16 billion,” Schumer said in a joint conference call with Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are once again warning that New Yorkers will be hurt if the Republican tax overhaul plan in Congress is approved.

Schumer, who is Senate Democratic Leader, says while the tax plan has changed from the original version, 71 percent of the deductions that now benefit state residents would be eliminated. The plan would end deductions for state and local income taxes, and cap the property tax deduction at $10,000 a year. 

Lt. Gov. Hochul "not happy" over Hoyt situation

Nov 2, 2017

Sam Hoyt, former Buffalo-area assemblyman and regional head of economic development under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, resigned his post one day before it became public that he’d paid a woman $50,000 in exchange for her ending accusations of sexual harassment against him. Hoyt admits in a statement that he made “mistakes,” but says the woman’s charges are untrue.

Most NY Republicans vote against House budget plan

Oct 27, 2017

Twenty Republicans voted against a 2018 budget plan in the House of Representatives Thursday, seven of them from New York. The resolution passed the house by a 216-212 vote. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

ALBANY (WSKG) - New York’s leaders are continuing to struggle with actions in Congress on the federal budget and tax overhaul that could adversely affect the state’s finances.

Governor Cuomo has said it’s possible he’ll call a special session to address potential gaps in the state budget, that could total several billion dollars. But he says the uncertainty over what will happen in Washington on health care funding and on major tax changes is making it hard to plan.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for vetoing bills that DeFrancisco said would help residents in the region. DeFrancisco has been pushing one bill in particular for the past three years.

A universal visitability tax credit would give some reimbursement for residents to retrofit their homes to be more accessible for the elderly and disabled, like adding wheelchair accessible entrances. Tania Anderson, the CEO of Arise, which provides disability services, said local residents are waiting 1-4 years for accessible housing.

Vice President Greets Supporters In Buffalo

Oct 18, 2017
Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Vice President Mike Pence came to Buffalo Tuesday to talk tax reform.

At the Buffalo International Airport, a crowd of media and supporters gathered on the windy tarmac to greet Pence as he exited his plane.

The vice president was greeted by Western NY Republican Congressman Chris Collins, an early supporter of the Trump campaign. The two shook hands and took pictures as a sea of fans pressed against a barrier to get a glimpse.

Although his time on the tarmac was brief, Pence said he was grateful to be in the western New York city.

A wide variety of groups have spent more than $1.3 million to urge voters to vote “no” on holding a constitutional convention. The opponents have far outspent a smaller number of advocates who urge a "yes" vote on the November ballot. 

The more than 150-member coalition opposing a constitutional convention includes labor unions, and the state’s Conservative Party, which often opposes unions. Also against the convention are both pro and anti-abortion groups, environmentalists and gun rights organizations.

Ryan Delaney / Innovation Trail

ALBANY (WSKG) - The state’s Comptroller is siding with Governor Cuomo over concerns that federal health care cuts will damage New York’s budget, but he says the governor’s budget experts should have saved more money in rainy day funds. 

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says Cuomo is right to draw attention to over a billion dollars in potential health care cuts to the state, now that Congress and President Trump have postponed acting on a new federal budget.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY (WSKG) - The State Comptroller has announced that New York joins 28 other states in offering a program that will help people disabled children save money for their future. 

Central New York Rep. John Kato (R-Camillus) opposed Republican Party bosses last week by voting against the proposed budget in the House. He was one of 18 Republican members of Congress who voted against the plan that passed on Thursday.

Katko says it ultimately shifts more costs to New Yorkers, and that’s not fair. He says those cuts that would hurt the state include reductions in Medicaid and SNAP programs, as well as transportation spending.

The tax overhaul plan proposed by President Donald Trump and now being considered in Congress would end the deduction on federal income tax forms for state and local property taxes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it would disproportionately harm New Yorkers, where property taxes are among the highest in the nation, and he’s taken opportunities at recent public events to make the case against the plan.

ALBANY (WSKG) - A new poll finds waning support for a constitutional convention in New York. The issue is on the ballot in November.

The Siena College poll finds that enthusiasm for a constitutional convention has dropped since the summer, with more people now saying they would vote against it, although a plurality still backs the idea.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he may have to call a special session in December to deal with potential funding cuts from Washington that he calls part of a “federal assault” on New York.

Cuomo said he’s developing a plan to manage what he said will be over a billion dollars in cuts to the state’s public hospitals, now that Congress has failed to renew a key program.

“All hospitals will need to find savings,” Cuomo said.

New York faces a budget deficit of up to $4 billion

Oct 2, 2017

New York could be facing its first major shortfall in several years, partly due to falling tax collections and federal health care and other policy changes. That could leave the state with billions less in state aid.

Lately, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s been sharing some bad news with New Yorkers. Twice in recent days he’s said there could be a multibillion-dollar shortfall in the budget next year.

The first time was at a briefing on how the state would be affected by potential federal Medicaid cuts. 

Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) was on the defensive for the majority of her first in-person town hall Tuesday night. More than 300 people attended the event that was hosted in the Oneida County town of Camden.

In light of the recent massive data breach at the credit reporting company Equifax, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is taking steps to make sure that in the future, the credit agencies have better cybersecurity in place.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a measure that would create new penalties for people who make bomb threats against community centers. The action stems from bomb threats made to Jewish community centers in New York and around the nation last winter. 

There’s some good news and some bad news from the state comptroller’s office. The state’s nearly $200 billion pension fund is doing well, thanks in part to the booming stock market, but there are some worrisome signs for the future of New York’s finances.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the pension fund is up this quarter by 2.9 percent, and has increased 11.5 percent from last year. DiNapoli said he likes to think that he and his staff have invested wisely, but he said a major factor is the booming stock market.

AndrewRosenthal / Flickr

The New York Board of Elections quietly voted this week to turn over some data about New York’s voters to a Trump administration panel looking at whether there was mass voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

Sam Kmack / New York NOW

The often-reticent New York Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, showed a different side of himself when the lifelong Star Trek fan visited a museum in New York’s North Country that replicates the fictional Starship Enterprise. 

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