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It's A Free Country ®

This Week in Politics: Christie, Cuomo Bring Differing Approaches to Conventions

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WNYC

You could call it two conventions, two governors. Both Republican Chris Christie and Democrat Andrew Cuomo are fiscally conservative governors of populous northeaster states. But the two men, both seen to have presidential ambitions in 2016, have wildly different approaches to their party's national conventions.

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WNYC News

Fracking Opponents Crash Cuomo Event Ahead of State's Decision

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A protest against the controversial natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing disrupted a conference attended by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in Manhattan on Wednesday. The state is set to issue a decision next month on whether it will allow the practice.

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WNYC News

Regional Councils Make Pitch for State Funds

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo presided over a day long presentation Tuesday by the state’s ten regional economic development councils, which are set to earn another $750 million in grants.

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It's A Free Country ®

Online Voter Registration Creeps Into New York

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New York just became the 11th state to allow online voter registration.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Makes a Moo-ve for More Cows at 'Yogurt Summit'

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he is easing some environmental regulations so dairy farmers can more easily own more cows as part of an effort to facilitate greater production of yogurt in the state.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Downplays Low-Key Role at Convention

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday downplayed the limited scope of his role at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next month.

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WNYC News

NY Cracks Down on Synthetic Drugs

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

New York is making it more difficult to buy synthetic drugs like bath salts thanks to new regulations put forward by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and the state Department of Health.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Defends Transparency Record

Friday, August 03, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo defended his administration against criticisms that he has not been transparent enough, saying he’s trying to do more.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Calls for NY Summit to Expand Yogurt Sales

Friday, August 03, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling farmers and manufacturers to a so-called yogurt summit to find ways the state can help increase New York's share of the growing trade.

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It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo Won't Speak at Convention

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Consistent with his strategy of focusing like a laser on New York - and of avoiding any flubs - Cuomo's team says he'll just fly by the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this summer.

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It's A Free Country ®

Who Had the Better Week—Cuomo or Christie?

Friday, July 27, 2012

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo helped end the Con Ed lockout, while New Jersey Governor Chris Christie headed for the beach.

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Transportation Nation

LaHood Invites Bids for Enriched Pot of Federal Transpo $, Winks at Tappan Zee Bridge

Friday, July 27, 2012

That's the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background. It spans the Hudson River about 25 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. At three miles, it is the longest bridge in the state. (photo by digitaltree515 / flickr)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Step right up, we've got money for loans. That was essentially today's message from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to states with large public transportation works in the planning. That includes rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, about which LaHood and his chief financial officer spoke positively, if vaguely.

 “We have heard from very high officials in the state of New York about this project and we have directed them to the notice in the federal register,” said LaHood, referring to today's official announcement that the grant money is available.

In February, the state applied for a $2 billion loan for the Tappan Zee Bridge from the U.S. DOT fund known as TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act). But TIFIA turned it down.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has been undeterred. He continues to apply political muscle to the project: this week, he appointed a former TV anchorman as Special Advisor to the The Tappan Zee Bridge. But he has yet to explain how the estimated $5.2 billion cost of the rebuilding will be funded. Given the state's limited finances, it would seem to behoove the governor to scoop up some of that TIFIA cash.

TIFIA functions as the U.S. DOT's infrastructure investment arm. In the past, it has paid for projects like an upgrade to the Staten Island Ferry and an extension to the President George Bush Turnpike in West Texas.

The fund is newly infused with $1.7 billion from the recently enacted federal surface transportation bill. LaHood said that money can be leveraged into $17 billion worth of "loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to major infrastructure projects with the potential to create jobs and spur economic development and growth." That's a big jump up from the last round of $120 million, which was used to dole out $1.2 billion in loans.

U.S. DOT chief financial officer Chris Bertram said the department favors projects that have "a revenue source like a dedicated sales tax or, in the case of the Tappan Zee Bridge, tolls." He said that reassures the department it will be paid back.

Department spokesman Justin Nisly said the sooner a grant application is received, the sooner it will be dealt with. "We will begin evaluating letters of interest immediately, and announcements will be made on a rolling basis."

U.S. DOT will also launch a unit that will help state and local governments figure out how to finance their transportation projects. According to a press release, the Project Finance Center will act as a wise uncle to bureaucrats seeking "to analyze financial options for highway, transit, rail, intermodal and other surface transportation projects facing funding challenges." 

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WNYC News

Con Ed, Union Strike Deal to End Lockout

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York City utility Consolidated Edison and its union are agreeing to end a lockout and labor conflict.

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The Empire

Promoting NY’s Business Friendly Attitude While Others Question It

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is running ads proclaiming New York’s business friendliness, but a recent set of rankings  finds the state dead last in that category. The truth, however, may lie somewhere in between.

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The Empire

NY Legislature Has Noteworthy Session…for Lowest Number of Bills Passed

Monday, July 02, 2012

According to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group, the 2012 session resulted in 571 pieces of legislation approved by both houses of the legislature.  

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The Empire

Schools Set to Miss Teacher Evaluation Deadline

Friday, June 29, 2012

An important deadline in the state’s ongoing teacher evaluation process occurs Sunday, but most schools will be missing it.  

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It's A Free Country ®

Who Had the Better Week—Cuomo or Christie?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cuomo counts his victories as the legislative session draws to a close in Albany, and an investigation into New Jersey's halfway houses puts Christie on defense.

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The Empire

NY Legislative Session Ends but Lawmakers May Not Be Done

Friday, June 22, 2012

The state legislature ended its session in an orderly fashion for the first time in decades, but the lack of last minute negotiations means that some issues were left unresolved. It’s likely that lawmakers will be back at the Capitol later this year to tackle them.

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The Empire

Issues Left Hanging as Session Ends

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The legislative session that’s concluding in Albany seems to be more about what’s not getting done than what is getting accomplished. Agreements were not reached on several key issues.

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The Empire

No Legislative Fix for Teacher Evaluations

Monday, June 18, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he no longer thinks settling the issue of making teacher evaluations public “urgent,” and will allow the legislature to end its session without an agreement on the matter.

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