Jenna Flanagan/WMHT

Watch: Comptroller DiNapoli, Hudson River Health

Karen DeWitt discusses the health of our state finances with longtime State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. DiNapoli also talks about the recent news regarding the property tax cap dropping to it's lowest number yet. Our Innovation Trail reporter Jenna Flanagan travels along the upstate portion of the Hudson River with Riverkeeper to examine its health. Watch the complete program above.
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Matt Ryan/WMHT

Watch now: "Buffalo Billion" transparancy; TZB politics

We travel up and down the state for this week's program as we discuss some of the pressing matters from the lower Hudson Valley all the way up to Western New York. First, we sit down with longtime Western New York journalist Jim Heaney. The editor of the Investigative Post, he has done extensive reporting on what he says is a lack of transparency regarding one of Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature projects, "The Buffalo Billion." Also, author Philip Plotch discusses the history and politics...
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Matt Ryan/WMHT

While driving west along 28N in the Central Adirondacks, I did a double-take passing one of the historic markers along what is commonly called the "Roosevelt-Marcy Trail."  This is the route that then-U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took from the Tahawus Club near Mount Marcy to the train station in North Creek after learning President William McKinley was gravely ill in Buffalo.  I detailed the journey in the 2014 WMHT documentary called "Nine Long Days." 

Matt Ryan

Two more lawmakers, a former Senate Leader and the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate were convicted of corruption in the past week. But Governor Cuomo continues to say it would not be a good idea to call state lawmakers back to the Capitol to enact more ethics reform measures.
 

Karen Dewitt

Supporters of paid family leave in New York say they hope 2016 will be their year, but business groups are urging caution.
 
A measure to allow all workers in the state 12 weeks of paid leave to take care of a new baby or sick family member was approved in the State Assembly, and two measures gained support in the State Senate, but the issue fell by the wayside in the end of session rush to pass bills and adjourn for the summer.
 

While supporters are declaring victory over New York’s new higher minimum wage for fast food workers, the action, by a state wage board,  highlights a larger question why are so many in the state dependent for their livelihoods on what are essentially entry level work force jobs.
 
The victory celebration by fast food workers and the state’s major union leaders also featured Governor Cuomo. The governor, who appointed the board when Republicans in the legislature were reluctant to act, predicts more actions to come.
 

A state wage Board has voted to phase in an increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour,  making New York the first state in the nation to increase the wage for a single segment of the work force.
 

Karen Dewitt

Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act saw some successes in the legislature in 2015, after the most controversial of the measures, an abortion rights provision, was separated out from the rest of the items.
 
8 of the of the 10 provisions in the Women’s Equality Act passed in 2015, including anti human trafficking laws , protections for pregnant workers, broadening anti sexual harassment laws in the workplace, and making it easier for women to sue for equal pay, says the co –chair of the Women’s Equality Coalition, Suzy Ballantyne.    
 

WMHT

The state’s comptroller finds that local and school property taxes will increase by the lowest percentage in decades, under the rules of a tax cap program recently renewed by the legislature.

A wage board convened by Governor Cuomo is expected to vote to raise the hourly minimum rate for fast food workers from the current $8.75 cents an hour to as high as $15 an hour when it meets on Wednesday.
 
The board was appointed by Cuomo when Republicans in the State Senate did not agree to raise the minimum wage any higher than the current phased in increase, which will bring the minimum wage to $9 an hour by the end of this year.
 

Matt Ryan

In the legislative session that recently ended, Governor Cuomo saw the state legislature reject a number of agenda items he’d been pushing. The governor, perhaps taking a cue from President Obama, has used his executive powers  to  advance some of the proposals anyway.
 
Governor Cuomo was stymied by Republicans, who lead the State Senate, on a couple of key items.
 

Matt Ryan/WMHT

Governor Cuomo for the first time as governor, has an approval rating below 50% in a new Siena College poll that also finds only 39% of New Yorkers think he’s doing a good job in office.
 
Governor Cuomo recently wrapped up a rocky end of the legislative session, and has been feuding with New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio as well as the teachers union.   Siena College poll spokesman Steve Greenberg says the falling numbers, which have now reached a key milestone, are a trend that’s been developing for several months.
 

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