State lawmakers are pushing for their first pay raise in fifteen years, and they say in exchange, they might even be willing to give up the practice of a daily stipend for each day they spend in Albany, known as per diems, that has sometimes led to abuse.
Legislators receive $172 dollars for every day that they spend in Albany, above normal travel and lodging expenses, and in addition to their $79,500 a year base pay.
On the anniversary of the Great American smoke out, a leading anti cancer group says Governor Cuomo’s Administration should be spending more to cut back on smoking.
The American Cancer Society’s Michael Burgess says while the Centers for Disease Control recommends New York State spend $200 million dollars a year on tobacco cessation programs, the current state budget has just under $40 million dollars allotted for it. Burgess says in the past, it’s been demonstrated that spending the money on things like a smokers quit line works.
The State’s Attorney General says the Buffalo snowstorms are more evidence that climate change is happening, and that New York and the nation need to work harder to combat the causes of global warming.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says this week in Western New York is another example of weather patterns that are changing, and won’t go back to normal by themselves.
State lawmakers say they want to act quickly to spend the state’s $5 billion dollar and growing surplus on an infrastructure fund to fix up roads and bridges, among other things. At a conference on the state’s infrastructure, sponsored by a think tank, participants said there are deep needs, and they warn lawmakers not to spend the money frivolously.