Streams

 

Dean Skelos

WNYC News

Legislature Nears 'Conceptual Agreement' on Budget

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The leader of the State Senate says he expects a "conceptual agreement" on the state budget by midday Friday, one week before the March 31 deadline.

Comment

WNYC News

Assembly and Senate Offer Own Budget Resolutions

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

With New York's budget deadline less than three weeks away, the state Senate and Assembly each approved their own budget resolutions Tuesday, setting the stage for the next round of negotiations.

Comment

It's A Free Country ®

New York Redistricting: All for Reform, and Reform for None

Friday, March 04, 2011

WNYC

First comes census numbers, then comes the redistricting battle. In New Jersey, a tiebreaker’s been brought in to settle the scuffle between jockeying Republicans and Democrats, while in New York, New York lawmakers in Albany and Washington are preparing for the fight.

Comments [1]

The Empire

Cuomo: 'Can they lead? Can they get a tough budget done?'

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I caught the tail end of Cuomo's comments on Fred Dicker's radio show, but the chest-thumping seemed fairly direct.

Cuomo warned what would happen if legislative leaders - Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos - fail to deliver enough votes to get his budget passed: they could be painted as advocates for the special interest.

"The question is can they get it done? Can they lead? Can they get a tough budget done," Cuomo asked rhetorically.

Cuomo - whose has sky-high approval ratings right now - said if it turns out either legislative leader "favors the special interest, then we're going to have a problem."

When asked about progress on an ethics reform bill, Cuomo paid a compliment to Silver and Skelos, and then promptly downplayed it.

After saying the three parties have gotten "closer" and "closer," Cuomo said, "closer doesn't matter to me."

"It's very easy to get close to the goal line. What they excel is getting close to the goal line but not going over."

Cuomo's talk was notably assertive (can we call it aggressive, it was so pleasantly delivered?) and it put the spotlight on two legislative partners that aren't well known outside political circles.

Which is what Alan Chartock predicted.

In light of Cuomo's 72 percent approval rating, Chartock said Cuomo has "got everyone on the run right now" and "if they see poll numbers around 75 percent, they’ve got to fear him.”

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

In Albany, Finger Pointing Over Ethics Reform

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tensions over an ethics reform bill that’s being negotiated in private between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders spilled into the open this week, as finger pointing began over which side was holding up the legislation.

Comment

WNYC News

Partisan Tensions Flare in NY Senate Over New Rules

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tensions erupted in the New York State Senate this week as Democratic senators complained over the placement of their chairs, the hours that they were to meet in session, and whether the newly empowered GOP was trying to “grab” more power.

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

NY Senate Majority Leader: MTA Needs a Balanced Capital Plan

Friday, January 28, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) It's a very, very thin thread, but the new Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate told a group of New York business leaders this morning:

"Another way we can create jobs is through smart investments in our transportation infrastructure. New York needs a balanced multi-year capital plan for both the MTA and the roads and bridges in New York State," Dean Skelos (R-Long Island) told the Association for a Better New York breakfast this morning.

His comments could be meaningless or anodyne -- or they could me he doesn't mean do what the (then Democratic-led) legislature did last year, which was  to repurpose $140 million in revenue that was supposed to go to the MTA to fill the state's own budget needs.

As we reported here earlier, Governor Cuomo has not committed to keep MTA funding for the MTA -- he's  said all budget money is fungible.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

to move Democrats, a Republican points to a rule set by Democrats

Friday, January 28, 2011

The leader of the State Senate, Republican Dean Skelos, is defending a move to kick several Democratic senators out of their offices...because their rents are too (damn!) high.

"The Democrats, when they were in the majority in the Senate, set certain parameters as to district offices. $40,000 here in the city. Malcolm Smith is spending $100,000...Dan Squadron is spending over $80,000. So, they're violating their own guidelines."

Skelos, speaking to reporters after an appearance at the Association for a Better New York in Manhattan this morning, said the state senate simply can't afford those kinds of rents.

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

Remembering Guy Velella

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The former Republican State Senator from the Bronx was one of the old-school retail politicians who mastered the art of backdoor dealmaking and grasping onto little-known levers of power.

His early release from jail  - where he served time for corruption - caused a backlash and demands for changes to parts of the criminal justice system.

Kappstatter and Lovett note Vellela's post-election life wasn't spent squired away in misery and anonymity.

Even with the controversies, Velella remained a popular figure on both sides of the political aisle.

After losing his law license, he spent the last years of his life as a lobbyist.

He'll be remembered "for his great sense of humor and his straight forward manner," said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Read More

Comments [2]

WNYC News

Cuomo's Fiscal Challenges

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When Andrew Cuomo becomes governor Saturday, he faces a formidable challenge of closing the multibillion dollar budget gap. And already, he’s upped the ante by promising to freeze spending and taxes.

Comment

WNYC News

Skelos Poised to Lead NY Senate

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Republicans are poised to take over the State Senate again after a brief two-year hiatus, and GOP leaders are determined to do things differently this time.

Comments [1]

WNYC News

In State Senate, Likely GOP Majority Could Help Cuomo

Monday, December 06, 2010

New York Republicans are a step closer to getting a lock on the State Senate majority. Over the weekend, a judicially supervised recount gave a slim margin of victory to a GOP challenger from Long Island, giving Republicans a 32-30 edge in the upper house come January.

Comment

WNYC News

Legislature Rejects Paterson's Deficit-Closing Bills

Monday, November 29, 2010

WNYC

The New York State Legislature met in a special session called by Governor David Paterson, but failed to act on the governor's bills to close the latest $315 million budget gap.

Comment

WNYC News

In Albany, Republicans Eye Greater Influence in Legislature

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The state’s Republican Party suffered some major blows in this month’s elections, losing the governor’s office and all other statewide posts. But the GOP did make gains in the legislature that could leave the party with a power base in charge of the State Senate and deprive Democrats of a veto-proof majority in the Assembly.

Comment

WNYC News

Republicans Release Alternative Budget Plans

Thursday, March 05, 2009

capitol
Senate Republicans were the first at the state capitol to release their alternative to Governor Paterson’s state budget, WNYC's Karen Dewitt reports from Albany.

The Senate Republicans, who are in the minority in that house by just one seat, rejected both Governor Paterson's dozens of new taxes and fees to raise revenues and a plan circulating in the legislature to raise taxes on wealthy. 'You can't tax your way out of this situation,' says Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos.

Comment