Capitol Pressroom

May 22, 2015: Jon Lentz, Rick Karlin, Libby Post, Timothy Kremer, John Boyd

 

Jon Lentz of City & State shares this week’s Winners and Losers.

Times Union reporter Rick Karlin looks at the news highlights of the week. Libby Post, the Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, explains the “Community Cats” bill, which passed the Assembly this week.

We take a look at the school budgets that passed and did not pass across the state this week with the New York State School Boards Association’s Executive Director Timothy Kremer.

The Boyd Company, Inc., helps businesses pick their location sites, so it knows what companies want from the states in which they choose to set up shop. John Boyd, Jr., the firm’s principal, says the “Start-Up NY” advertising campaign was a missed opportunity to promote the state’s most attractive business assets.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 21, 2015: Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Robert Lowry, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, independent contractors

 

As part of the budget deal, legislators voted to let the Board of Regents decide, to a degree, how teacher evaluations will be handled in New York. But the Regents are working under tight constrictions and deadlines set by the Legislature and the Governor. Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch explains the course ahead for the Board and what is shaping up with the evaluation system.

The New York State Council of School Superintendents’ Robert Lowry looks at teacher evaluations policy, the school budget votes, and the property tax cap.

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D – Rochester) weighs in on his end-of-session priorities, including legislation that would support parents who are caregivers.

The “It’s My Business” coalition is a diverse group of individuals and organizations fighting for the rights of independent contractors. Former U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln joins Susan Arbetter to discuss nationwide policies that hinder the economic success of independent contractors.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 20, 2015: Blair Horner, education investment tax credit, property tax cap, Bruce Gyory

 

Blair Horner, NYPIRG’s Legislative Director, discusses what good-government groups are calling New York’s unfinished ethics agenda.

While the Governor wants to pass the newly renamed Parental Choice in Education Act (formerly called the Education Investment Tax Credit) before the end of session, the Alliance for Quality Education and other advocates say the state needs to focus more on public schools. Jasmine Gripper, the Legislative Coordinator for the Alliance for Quality Education, explains.

E.J. McMahon, the president of the Empire Center, looks at why many groups are calling for New York to make the 2 percent property tax cap permanent.

Finally, we speak with Manatt, Phelps & Phillps’ Bruce Gyory about four gaps he sees driving the 2016 elections here in NYS: the gender gap, the race gap, the affordability gap and the climate change gap.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 19, 2015: Sen. Joseph Griffo, Yonkers School District, “high performance” classrooms, County Executive Ossenfort

 

Sen. Joseph Griffo (R -Rome), the Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee provides an update on the Indian Point clean-up and previews Wednesday’s REV hearing.

The Yonkers School District is facing over 200 staff layoffs. About 1,000 students, parents and teachers from Yonkers will rally at the Capitol today to demand a special funding appropriation for the district. We will speak with Patricia Puleo, President of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, and Superintendent Michael Yazurlo about the budget crisis.

Remember the constitutional amendment on last November’s ballot that allocated up to $2 billion dollars for educational technology and infrastructure in New York? Several groups want to invest the money in healthy, “high performance” classrooms. We’ll speak with William Orr, the executive director of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and Claire Barnett, the executive director and founder of Healthy Schools Network, Inc., about how New York can create ideal learning environments.

Finally, we’ll speak with Matthew Ossenfort, the Montgomery County Executive, about the Power NY Coalition, a group of elected officials, community members and businessmen that are pushing to upgrade the state’s energy transmission system so consumers can have better access to affordable energy.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 18, 2015: Bill Hammond, Asm. Brian Kolb, Scott Kurkoski, Asm. Richard Gottfried, Marc Stern

 

Bill Hammond looks at the legislation that needs to be done before the end of session.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R – Canandaigua) highlights his conference’s priorities for the end of session. We hear reaction from Scott Kurkoski, an attorney with Levene, Gouldin & Thompson and fracking proponent, on the DEC’s final SGEIS for high volume hydraulic fracturing, which brings the state closer to a formal ban.

The Chair of the Assembly Health Committee Richard Gottfried (D – Manhattan) would like to expand the state’s pilot medical marijuana program by allowing more distribution centers and the ability for patients to smoke the marijuana as part of treatment.

The proposal for state oversight of the troubled East Ramapo School District continues to gain support. We speak with Marc Stern, the leading expert in legal advocacy issues with the American Jewish Committee, about the future of the district.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 15, 2015: Ashley Hupfl, Ken Lovett and Yancey Roy, Kate Sinding, Sen. Kemp Hannon

 

Ashley Hupfl, a reporter for City & State, shares this week’s Winners and Losers.

Reporters Yancey Roy, the Albany Bureau Chief for Newsday, and Ken Lovett, the Albany Bureau Chief for the NY Daily News, weigh in on the news of the week.

The DEC released the final SGEIS for hydrofracking in NYS this week, bringing the state closer to making the ban official. We examine the report with Kate Sinding, the senior attorney and deputy director of NRDC’s NY Program.

Sen. Kemp Hannon (R – Garden City), the Chair of the Senate Health Committee, looks at e-cigarette legislation and discusses today’s Manhattan Institute conference on the future of Health Care in NY, in which he will be participating as a panelist.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 14, 2015: Sen. Daniel Squadron, Saima Anjam, Sen. John DeFrancisco

 

Sen. Daniel Squadron (D – Brooklyn, Manhattan) discusses efforts to reform the LLC campaign contribution laws through the legislature.

EANY’s Environmental Health Director Saima Anjam explains the Child Safe Products Act.

Sen. John DeFrancisco (R – Syracuse) looks at the shift in leadership in the Senate.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 13, 2015: Judith Enck, Susan Lerner, Larry Levy, Dean Patricia Salkin

 

The State has dropped its appeal of the EPA’s decision to deny millions of dollars in funding for the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. The funds would have come from Clean Water Act money. We’ll discuss the latest with EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck.

Susan Lerner, the Executive Director of Common Cause NY, explains good government groups’ renewed call to pass comprehensive ethics reforms.

We hear from Larry Levy, a former long-time, award-winning Newsday reporter and the current Executive Dean at the National Center of Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, about Sen. John Flanagan’s rise to power in the Senate, what’s next for Dean Skelos, and why several upstate Republicans may have voted for a Long Islander.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman wants to require a uniform bar exam that would allow lawyers to more easily practice in states other than New York. Patricia Salkin, Dean and Professor of Law at Touro Law School weighs in on the pros and cons of the proposal.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 12, 2015: Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, safe staffing for nurses

 

Sen. John Flanagan, the former Chair of the Senate Education Committee, has been named the Senate Majority Leader and Temporary President of the Senate. He joins Susan Arbetter to discuss his new position.

The Comptroller’s audit of the Empire State Development Corporation found few measurable results of the $211 million spent on advertising to promote State economic development and tourism. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli looks at the report’s findings.

We discuss nurses’ call for safe staffing ratios with RNs Anne Goldman (NYSUT), and Barbara Rock (PEF), as well as CWA Local 1168 President Cori Gambini.

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Capitol Pressroom

May 11, 2015: Sen. Gianaris, Sen. Ortt, Ron Deutsch, Heather Briccetti

 

After losing more supporters over the weekend, Sen. Dean Skelos (R – Rockville Centre) is expected to resign as Majority Leader or face a floor vote today demanding he step down. We will hear from Senators on both sides of the aisle. First, Sen. Michael Gianaris (D – Astoria), the Deputy Minority Leader, explains the Senate Democrats’ renewed efforts to force a floor vote removing Sen. Skelos as Temporary President. Next, Sen. Robert Ortt (R – North Tonawanda), a freshman Senator from Western New York, discusses the mood of the Senate Republican Conference.

We also bring you two perspectives on Gov. Cuomo’s plans to raise the minimum wage of fast-food workers through a wage board. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s Executive Director Ron Deutsch commends the proposal. The Business Council’s President and CEO Heather Briccetti says the measure circumvents the Legislature’s long-established role in making wage policy.

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Capitol Pressroom