Politics & Government

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Governor Cuomo has begun 2017 by breaking some long standing traditions, including, ditching the State of the State speech at the Capitol in favor of a statewide tour.  Karen DeWitt sat down to tape a podcast with long time League of Women Voters lobbyist Barbara Bartoletti, to discuss what’s lost, and whether civility needs to make a comeback.

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Lost in the attention of all the proposals in the State of the State address was one more idea for change particularly interesting to businesses.  Governor Cuomo pledged to reform worker’s compensation.  The news was welcomed by the state’s the Business Council of New York State, and its Director of Government Affairs Lev Ginsburg.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner delivered her final state of the city address Thursday night…a message that was decidedly more reflective on the accomplishments of her past seven years in office.  She highlighted successes in city schools, with the Land Bank, and using new technology and data to tackle the city’s daunting infrastructure challenges.  Miner also touched on downtown and neighborhood development.

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

Governor Cuomo brought his regional state of the state message to Syracuse Wednesday, where his localized proposals ranged from transportation to the creation of high tech jobs. 

The governor says 7,700 jobs have been created in Central New York since 2010.  And now, 260 more are coming as a military defense and civil security company looks to expand its presence in the eastern suburbs.

uber.com

Governor Cuomo is proposing that New York State allow ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.   

The ride sharing services have been trying unsuccessfully to expand to areas outside of New York City. Upstate and parts of Long Island are among the last places in the country not to have access to companies like Uber and Lyft. Governor Cuomo, in a series State of the State speeches, said in Buffalo that it’s time that changed, calling it an “unfair duality”.

“If it makes sense for downstate, it makes sense for upstate,” Cuomo said.

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

  Governor Cuomo’s doing something different with the State of the State this year. Instead of delivering a speech to lawmakers in Albany, who will have to approve his proposals, he’s giving six mini speeches in three days all around the state.  One of them will be given at the Civic Center in Syracuse Wednesday.  Legislative leaders will not be attending.

nysenate.gov

Central New York State Senator Dave Valesky says he’s ready to resume working with the Independent Democratic Conference as state lawmakers prepare to re-convene Wednesday in Albany…

"It's important to continue something that has been working very well," Valesky said.  "The bipartisan coalition that the Independent Democratic Conference has participated in over 6 years now in one form or another has delivered results."

twitter.com @SenSchumer

Senator Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor today to officially begin his new role as Democratic Minority Leader, succeeding Harry Reid of Nevada, who did not seek re-election.  Below are Schumer's comments as prepared for delivery:

WAER News

Central New York Congressmember John Katko will be sworn into a second term in office Tuesday, something the district hasn’t seen since Jim Walsh held the seat.  But  what’s likely to be on the agenda when he returns to Washington?

It probably comes as no surprise by now that Obamacare will be one of the first items to be addressed by the 115th congress.  But Katko warns any changes have to be done carefully…

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page / AG Schneiderman's flickr page

An ethics reform proposal quietly circulated between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders for a possible special session that could also include a pay raise is getting blasted by the State’s Attorney General as possibly unconstitutional.

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