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This week on NYN: Budget negotiations, new Cuomo book

Will March go out like a lamb or a lion? Politically speaking, it appears the former. Most signs tell us that the state will be heading toward its fifth straight on-time budget (unheard of throughout most of the last three decades). There are still sticking points between the governor and lawmakers, including ethics reform. Mike Gormley of Newsday, Laura Nahmias of Capital New York and Karen DeWitt of New York State Public Radio break down the last week of negotiations. Also, in anticipation...
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The Keene barn: A photographer's best friend

On our way back from reporting on a story in the Adirondacks, we passed a familiar sight off of Route 73 in Essex County. If you've traveled that same stretch of highway on your way to Lake Placid, you've probably passed it too. The old Keene barn is a photographer's delight, no matter the season. If your still looking for that perfect shot, though, you better hurry. It's reaching the end of its life and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Watch our full story here. It starts at the 21...
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State lawmakers planned to hold some meetings throughout the weekend as they put the finishing touches on the state budget.

Senate Republicans are trying to modify Governor Cuomo’s proposal to require full disclosure of law clients in legislators’ outside business.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who works part time at a private law firm, says he expects to agree on a “robust” new disclosure law, but concedes that it may only apply to new law clients, not existing business arrangements.

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

The state Assembly, Senate and Governor Cuomo continue to work on sticking points in the state budget, as yet another item has now been dropped from the spending plan, raising the state’s minimum wage.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged hopeful from a closed door meeting with Republican Senators. The Senate and Governor Cuomo have been at odds over ethics reform, including requiring financial disclosure of Senators’ law clients in their outside jobs as private attorneys.

The leader of the State Senate says raising the minimum wage is now out of the state budget, setting up a potential  conflict with the state assembly as the budget deadline draws near.

Add the minimum wage to a growing list of items that have been dropped from the state budget.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who’s been against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to further increase the minimum wage to $11.50 downstate and $10.50 upstate, says, the proposal won’t be part of the final state spending plan. 

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget, or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are making progress on the budget. Cuomo, after a private meeting with Senate Republicans, says he’s closer to an agreement on ethics reform, but the governor is getting some criticism for dropping some items out of the budget, including the Dream Act.

The governor made a rare visit to the Senate Republican conference meeting room where he says he talked about how to come to agreement on ethics reform. Cuomo signaled that he’s willing to make some concessions on his demands that legislators who practice private law identify their clients.

A protest to raise the minimum wage drew hundreds to the state Capitol, and included a brief occupation of the building’s Dunkin Donuts. Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers are considering hiking the minimum wage in the new budget, but protesters say it is not enough.

Matt Ryan/WMHT

With just over a week until the state budget is due, there’s pressure to drop a number of unrelated items in Governor Cuomo’s state spending plan.

Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

  A new poll finds voters disagree with most of Governor Andrew’s Cuomo’s tactics during the current budget negotiations. Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threated to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  

A Siena College poll finds that, while New Yorkers think ethics reform and school funding are important, they don’t want the issues linked to the budget, and they say an on time spending plan is important to them, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

Matt Ryan/WMHT

There’s still no final three way deal on an ethics reform proposal at the State Capitol.  And reform groups say a proposal offered by Governor Cuomo and the state Assembly does not go far enough.

The plan by Cuomo and Assembly Democrats requires that lawmakers disclose the source of all outside income they receive above $1000. Lawyers must reveal the names of their clients if they earn more than $5000. They would also have to prove they are actually in Albany, through an electronic monitoring system, before receiving their expense payments.

  Teachers from the Finger Lakes traveled to Albany Friday to deliver one thousand local apples to Governor Cuomo. The purpose was not to share in the bounty of the agricultural region, but to make a point about what they say is the governor’s lack of commitment to school spending.

Mike Prusinowski is a high school science teacher in Canandaigua . He says each apple represents a teaching job lost because of funding cuts, and an apple that would otherwise be delivered by a student to their teacher.   

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