Tag Archives: legislature

Letter: legislative session disappointing

The Messenger Post recently published a letter to the editor from Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, in which he called the recent legislative session in Albany a “disappointment.” The letter points out that progress came to a halt at the end of session with the Legislature failing to reform the Scaffold Law or repeal the Wage Theft Prevention Act, two issues The Business Council fought hard on this session.

Governor focuses on upstate economic development

Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week that the upstate economy will be a top priority.  As he toured the state to talk about his Start-Up NY initiative and other economic growth opportunities, such as casinos, Governor Cuomo attributed the languishing upstate economy to a Legislature that has focused past initiatives downstate. “There has been no upstate focus. Why has there been no upstate focus? Because the downstate dominates the Legislature, because that’s where the people are. It’s mathematics.”

Although many business groups feel Start-Up NY, and casinos, will help upstate’s economy, they also feel more could be done. George Miner, president of the Southern Tier Economic Growth, Inc., said, “Tax-free zones are a piece of the puzzle and can help. Fracking would go a lot further than that. No doubt about it.”

Annual pay notification repeal blocked at end of session

Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs at The Business Council, is featured in today’s Business Review article on how the repeal of the annual pay notification requirement, part of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, was blocked at the end of this year’s legislative session. The measure had been moving forward, passing the Senate with bipartisan support in late June and with an Assembly companion bill introduced with a bipartisan mix of 62 cosponsors.

Read the full article on the Business Review website.

Names of wire targets due out

Judge Orders Release of Identities of Nine People Recorded

And then there were nine. A federal judge will unseal a document this afternoon that contains the names of nine people who were recorded by former state Senator Shirley Huntley. Six of those people are elected officials. We will post the names as soon as learn of them.

Jimmy Vielkind wrote the story for the Times Union. Click here to read more.

Siena poll: 81% of voters say more arrests of legislators for corruption are likely

sienaLogoAbout 1/3 of Voters Say Their Legislator Could Be Arrested

Federal Prosecutors & AG Should Take Lead in Cleaning Up Corruption

I can’t say the results of Siena Research Institute’s latest poll are very surprising. Here are the findings from SRI’s release:

Nine out of ten voters say corruption in the New York State Legislature is a serious problem (41 percent very serious). Eight out of ten say it’s likely that there will be more arrests of state legislators in the near future, and the arrests could include their own assemblymember, 35 percent say, or their state senator, 30 percent say, according to a new Siena College Poll of New York voters released today. Voters are virtually evenly divided on whether focusing on law enforcement or the electoral process is more important in fighting corruption.

NY Times: In dark humor and stiff drinks, Albany finds relief from scandal

“They pat each other down. They crack wise about ‘CSI: Albany.’ They vent, in bars and back rooms and on basketball courts.” That’s the start of New York Time’s reporter Jesse McKinley’s story on the return of state lawmakers to work in Albany.  He also described the reception Senator Malcolm Smith received from his colleagues.

Click here to read more.

Quinnipiac poll: Republicans shifting back to Cuomo

Voters Also Give Governor Low Marks on Corruption

An interesting group of numbers in the latest Quinnipiac University poll: New York voters gave Governor Cuomo a 57-29 percent overall job approval rating. There is a gender gap – men approve 49-39 percent; women – 63-20 percent. But most interestingly, the governor has a 48-39 percent approval rating among Republicans. That’s a shift from 38-49 percent approval rating from the March 19 survey. On his handling of corruption? “The governor, not legislative leaders, should have primary responsibility for cleaning up legislative corruption, voters say 47 – 34 percent, but only 37 percent say Cuomo’s clean-up efforts are “excellent” or “good,” while 52 percent say “not so good” or “poor.”

Voters also rated the State Legislature’s performance and weighed in on the joint leadership of the State Senate.

Click here for the complete survey.


Five things to watch for in the post-budget session

The Legislature returned to Albany yesterday to begin their post-budget session.  Nick Reisman of YNN’s Capitol Tonight gives an overview of the political scene in his latest blog post covering the post-budget legislative landscape including the potential for major reforms and the future of the IDC-GOP coalition in light of the corruption case against Sen. Malcolm Smith.

Read: Five Things To Watch For In The Post-Budget Session