Monthly Archives: March, 2014


March 31, 2014: Blair Horner, Jerry Kremer, Cornell’s Mildred Warner and Katelin Olson

Published - March 31, 2014

Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group is among the critics of the limited public campaign finance roll-out in the state budget. With a different take on public campaign financing, we speak with former Assembly member Jerry Kremer, founder and Chairman of Empire Government Strategies. Cornell’s Mildred Warner and Katelin Olson discuss how upstate cities including Rochester, Syracuse and Utica are weathering a variety of financial challenges, and whether the new state budget will help or hinder those efforts.

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‘Capitol Pressroom Weekend’ for March 30

Published - March 30, 2014

Matt Hamilton of City and State joins us with the week’s Winners & Losers. Our reporter roundtable convenes with Ken Lovett, Albany Bureau Chief of the New York Daily News; Liz Benjamin, host of Capitol Tonight, and City & State reporter Matt Hamilton. Susan Lerner, Executive Director, Common Cause/NY dropped by to discuss both public campaign financing, and the National Popular Vote which passed through both houses of the legislature. Assemblymember Pat Fahy, D-Albany, weighed in on budget issues related to education, from the Gap Elimination Adjustment to Charter Schools.  

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With interstate compact, presidents could win election by popular vote

Published - March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014 — The presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote may soon be guaranteed the election victory. Several states have signed onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, in which states agree to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular election. New York passed the measure in the Senate and the Assembly this week. If enough states join the compact to secure 270 electoral votes, the national election scene will change dramatically. Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause, joined Susan Arbetter on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom to discuss the compact. “The entire landscape for presidential

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March 28, 2014: Matt Hamilton, Liz Benjamin and Ken Lovett; Susan Lerner; Asm. Pat Fahy

Published - March 28, 2014

Matt Hamilton of City and State provides our weekly fill of Winners & Losers. Liz Benjamin of Capitol Tonight, Ken Lovett of the New York Daily News and Matt Hamilton will join us with early analysis of the state budget. Susan Lerner of Common Cause on efforts toward public campaign financing as well as the national popular vote, which passed in the state legislature recently. Assemblymember Pat Fahy (D – Albany) discusses education issues in the budget.

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March 27, 2014: Brendan Fischer, Jim Cultrara, Kate Breslin, Stephen Acquario, Asm. Kieran Lalor

Published - March 27, 2014

Brendan Fischer, counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy, says the principles behind the education tax credit are closely based on legislation that has been pushed by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Counsel. Jim Cultrara of the Catholic Conference joins us to rebut Fischer. Kate Breslin of the Schuyler Center is concerned about the fate of PreK. Stephen Acquario of the New York Association of Counties discusses his memberships’s priorities. In light of the FBI’s raid of Queens Democrat William Scarborough’s office on Wednesday, Gannett reports that Asm. Kieran Lalor, R-Fishkill, is calling for better documentation of per diem

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March 26, 2014: Asm. Kolb, Michael Borges, Asm. Cusick, Barbara Bartoletti and Billy Easton

Published - March 26, 2014

Mandate relief & the Common Core are at the top of Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb’s list of budget priorities. The Canandaigua Republican joins us to discuss these topics as well as the day’s news. The New York State Association of School Business Officials has released a report looking at how the Gap Elimination Adjustment or GEA has been affecting school districts. Executive Director Michael Borges will have details. Two views of the Education Investment Tax Credit: Asm Michael Cusick of Staten Island is the Assembly sponsor of the bill which provides a tax credit for charitable contributions to public,

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Transmitter maintenance set to begin March 26

Published - March 25, 2014

The WCNY transmitter will be shut down four about four hours tonight beginning at 12:30 a.m. WCNY is shutting down the transmitter for the safety of the WSTM staff, so they can perform emergency maintenance on their equipment. The work effects only over the air viewers.    

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March 25, 2014: Sen. Diane Savino, Rev. Jason McGuire, Bill Mahoney and Karen Scharff, Asm. Joe Morelle

Published - March 25, 2014

Senator Diane Savino of the IDC on the push to include paid family leave in the final budget. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms discusses his opposition to the 2014 Fair Elections Act. Bill Mahoney of NYPIRG and Karen Scharff of Citizen Action, proponents of public campaign financing, share their perspective on the issue and discuss the link between giant campaign contributions and corruption. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle on his budget priorities.

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March 24, 2014: Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Steve Greenberg, Fred Floss and Ron Deutsch, Bruce Gyory

Published - March 24, 2014

Leader of the mainstream Democrats, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins makes a final pitch for public campaign financing as well as several other issues. Pollster Steve Greenberg joins us with the key findings from the latest Siena Research Poll. Fred Floss of the Fiscal Policy Institute & Ron Deutsch of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness take on bank tax reform. Bruce Gyory, senior advisor in the Government & Regulatory Policy Division in Manatt, Phelps & Phillips’ Albany office and UAlbany Adjunct Professor of Political Science shares his analysis of budget negotiations.

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‘Capitol Pressroom Weekend’ for March 23, 2014

Published - March 23, 2014

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York on the Education Investment Tax Credit. Senator Liz Krueger, a mainstream Democrat from Manhattan, discusses a few of the problems around Monday night’s failed vote in the state senate on the Dream Act. Senator Jeff Klein, head of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and co-leader of the State Senate responds to Krueger’s allegations and defends his conference’s actions and expectations. One member of the Governor’s Common Core Implementation Panel, Anne Kress, President of Monroe Community College, shares her thoughts on the panel’s recommendations.

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Mental health advocates call for police crisis training

Published - March 21, 2014

Mental health advocates are calling for $2 million in the state budget to adopt the “Memphis Model,” a program which helps limit bad outcomes between police and people with mental illness under distress. “In Memphis they were having a great amount of problems where the police were not dealing well with the mentally ill people and there were tragedies, deaths and avoidable incarcerations,”  Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, told WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “Major Sam Cochran developed a model where he trained police and gave them 40 hours of mental health training, soup

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March 21, 2014: mental health advocates, Barbara Bartoletti and Tom Wilkey, Jonathan Gradess, brownfields

Published - March 21, 2014

Mental health advocate Harvey Rosenthal wants to see money in the budget for the “Memphis Model”, a program which helps limit bad outcomes between police and people with mental illness under distress. Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters and Tom Wilkey former head of the US Board of Elections preview a forum on election reform taking place Monday at the Rockefeller Institute. rockinst.org Jonathan Gradess, Executive Director of the New York State Defenders Association is urging the State to settle a lawsuit alleging that New York is not living up to its Constitutional obligation to provide adequate legal

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March 20, 2014: Sen. Valesky, Asm. Moya, Dr. Rick Timbs and Dr. Lori Caplan, James Tallon

Published - March 20, 2014

Syracuse area Democrat and IDC member David Valesky discusses his conference’s “Affordable New York Agenda” as well as the Governor’s tweaked property tax freeze. Assemblyman Francisco Moya was outraged by the failure of the DREAM Act vote in the State Senate this week. Is there a future for the legislation within the state budget? Statewide School Finance Consortium Executive Director Dr. Rick Timbs and Watervliet City Schools Superintendent Dr. Lori Caplan on legislative movement to eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment as well as other education issues. President of the United Hospital Fund of New York James Tallon writes that the

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Education tax credit in New York Senate one-house budget

Published - March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014 — A new educational investment tax credit in the New York Senate’s one-house budget resolution would give private sector donors a tax credit when they provide money to either public or private schools for things like athletics, after school activities and scholarships. Over three years, the credit would cost the state more than $600 million. Advocates for traditional public schools are concerned that the credit is a back door way to fund non-public schools. “It’s a diversion of funds to non-public schools,” the Statewide School Finance Consortium’s Executive Director Rick Timbs told WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “The

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