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WNYC News

Another Political Scandal Ensnares New York Politicians

Thursday, April 04, 2013

WNYC

For the second time this week, a bribery scandal has ensnared elected officials in New York. On Thursday, federal prosecutors charged Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who they say accepted cash bribes to help businessmen set up an adult day care center in the Bronx.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

NY State Budget Winners and Losers

Monday, April 01, 2013

The New York state budget passed just before the April 1st deadline. Casey Seiler, Capitol bureau chief and columnist for the Albany Times-Union, explains the winners and losers in this year's budget, and who spent the most money lobbying last year.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Sick Leave Deal; Summer Camp Intel; Memory

Friday, March 29, 2013

There's a new paid sick leave deal in the NYC City Council. What's in it? What got left out? Plus: Psychologist Charles Fernyhough talks about his new book Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell About Our Pasts; get your questions answered about sending your kids to summer camp; and the phones will be open for those high school seniors who will be the first in their families to go to college.

WNYC News

The Ways of Albany: Deals Behind Closed Doors, Votes in the Dark of Night

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The New York State Senate finished up voting on the state budget in a middle-of-the-night session that ended at 4:30 AM Wednesday. It's part of a long standing Albany tradition of closed door negotiations and overnight voting on budgets and other issues.

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WNYC News

New Gun Law's Magazine Limit Could Change

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The governor and legislative leaders are talking about amendments to the state’s new gun control laws. The Assembly Speaker raised the possibility that a ban on 10 bullet magazines might be reversed, but Governor Cuomo said that’s not the case.

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WNYC News

NY Budget Talks Could Stretch Into Weekend

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The New York State budget is crawling to a conclusion, as legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo continue closed door meetings to try to strike a final deal.

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Transportation Nation

NY City Council to Albany: We Need Speed Cameras to Keep New Yorkers Safe

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NY City Council members James Vacca, Christine Quinn, and Jimmy Van Bremer (photo by Kate Hinds)

In the wake of several high-profile traffic deaths, key members of the New York City Council are throwing their support behind state legislation that would bring speed cameras to the city.

Speed camera legislation has languished in Albany for years, due in part to the steadfast opposition of Rochester democrat David Gantt, who chairs the Assembly's transportation committee. Most recently, in 2012, the state legislature failed to bring a speed camera bill to the floor for a vote, earning the ire of New York's mayor.

But advocates say it looks like there's more hope this time around: the Assembly bill has over 30 co-sponsors,  it's got strong support in the City Council -- which council speaker (and mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn says stands ready to deliver a home rule message to Albany -- and, perhaps most tellingly, the state assembly has included the pilot program in its 2013-2014 budget proposal.

"Speeding is, tragically, the number-one cause of fatal crashes in New York City," said Quinn. "This is a really significant problem. Anywhere in America, but (especially) in the biggest most congested city in the world, where we have such a pedestrian city -- to lack this type of enforcement...puts people at risk."

"We just need these cameras to help keep New Yorkers safe," she said.

According to city data, in 2011 70 deaths and 4,700 injuries were attributable to speed-related crashes. The New York City Department of Transportation has not released 2012 data yet.

Quinn was joined at a City Hall press conference by fellow council members James Vacca, Jimmy Van Bramer, Steve Levin and Gale Brewer.

The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick. Under the terms of the legislation, up to 40 speed cameras would be placed at high-risk intersections in New York for a five-year pilot program. Council members said the cameras would not photograph drivers, fines would not exceed $100, and insurance companies would not be notified of violations.

Those provisions may be necessary to sweeten the deal for opponents who say speed cameras are privacy-invading revenue generators. Because for New York City to get the cameras, the capital has to sign off -- and so far it hasn't proven eager to do so.

"This is a classic example where we are in the hands of Albany," said Jimmy Vacca. "I wish this was something we could do at a city level. If we could, we would." He added: "This is not something I view as a revenue-raiser. This is something I view as a lifesaver."

(Side note: New York City does have red light traffic cameras, although they are currently being litigated.)

The bill could also be riding a tide of renewed energy to combat traffic deaths. Recently, the New York Police Department announced it was reforming how it investigates traffic crashes -- which it now refers to as collisions, not accidents.  NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly told a City Council budget hearing Tuesday that the department will add up to 10 new investigators to its collision squad. "One of the challenges we had in setting up this squad is handling the number of accidents that can be handled by the number of people that we have," said Kelly.

That squad currently has 19 investigators.

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WNYC News

Thousands Join Anti-Gun Control Rally

Thursday, February 28, 2013

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

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WNYC News

Minimum Wage Hike Stands Better Chance in 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Governor Cuomo has proposed raising the minimum wage as part of his budget plan. That tactic might make it easier for the proposal to become law.

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WNYC News

Watch Live | Cuomo Delivers Budget Address

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his budget for the coming year. The $134 billion budget is expected to keep spending growth below 2 percent, include no new taxes and deal with a budget deficit of more than $1 billion. Watch live beginning at 2 p.m.

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WNYC News

What You Need to Know About New York's Gun Law

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The law's author, analysts and people living in high-crime neighborhoods give us their read on the new measure.

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WNYC News

Gun Deal Close in Albany

Monday, January 14, 2013

New details are emerging on gun control legislation that lawmakers say could be passed as early as Monday in what would be the nation's first gun control measure after the school shooting in Connecticut.

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WNYC News

Cuomo's Speech Stokes the Progressive Base

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

WNYC

In his first state of the state in 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo embraced tax cuts and spending cuts.  A year ago, it was economic development. This year, with Democrats on the march nationally and a new ally in the state Senate leadership, Cuomo is embracing his liberal side.

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WNYC News

Since Last State of the State, A Mixed Bag for Cuomo

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

WNYC

A year ago, in his State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dramatically proposed the world's largest convention center near JFK airport, $15 billion in infrastructure investments, restructuring the state's pension program, and public financing of elections.  As we head into the 2013 state of the state, here's a tally of where those promises ended up.

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WNYC News

Cuomo To Outline Gun Restrictions and Post-Sandy Vision in Annual Albany Address

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Governor Andrew Cuomo will lay out his agenda for his third year in office this week when he delivers his State of the State address on Wednesday. More gun restrictions and the governor’s vision for post-Sandy New York are likely to top his updated his priority list.

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WNYC News

Jeff Klein: The Bronx Democrat Keeping the GOP in Power

Friday, December 21, 2012

State Senator Jeff Klein used to be a party loyalist.  He became a State Senator by arguing his opponent was too cozy with Republicans. But now, Klein's the one who's teaming up with the GOP.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Says He Won't Get in Middle of 'Intramural' Senate Fight

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear Wednesday that he continues to have no interest in inserting himself into what he described as an “intramural” political fight between senate Democratic factions.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

New York State Results

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Liz Benjamin, host of Capital Tonight, blogger, talks about the congressional and state races.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Cuomo's Move on Fracking

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief for The Daily News, discusses Governor Cuomo's decision to effectively delay a decision on hydrofracking in New York. And Jim Finch, Town Supervisor of Conklin, offers his reaction to the governor's decision, and why he thinks Cuomo should allow fracking in New York.

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Schoolbook

Albany Bill Would Consider Home Life in Special Ed Placement

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is weighing whether to sign a bill on special education that opponents argue would give families more power to send their children to religious schools at taxpayers’ expense.

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