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School budgets pass overwhelmingly

New York voters went to the polls Tuesday to vote on their local school budgets and the results are right in line with the passage rate since the enacting of the tax cap five years ago.
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Matt Ryan/WMHT

Wayne Barrett reflects on his decades covering Donald Trump

No one has covered real estate mogul and now leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump longer than Wayne Barrett.
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Questions continue about economic development practices by Governor Cuomo’s Administration, including the proposed sale of valuable piece of land from one state agency to another state entity for a dollar .

US Attorney Preet Bharara is reported to be probing contracts awarded as part of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion project, with questions over the timing of campaign contributions to the governor, as well as criteria used to choose the vendors.

Matt Ryan / WMHT

Governor Cuomo says he’s already making  preparations, in case Hurricane Joaquin hits New York full force in the coming days.

Cuomo says he’s staffing up emergency operations centers, notifying national guard offices that they might have to be deployed,  and having work crews clear any trouble spots known to be prone to flooding, even though the track of the storm is still somewhat uncertain.

A New York comedian who is also an activist on prison rights issues is drawing attention to the state’s practice of investing a small amount of its pension fund in the private prison industry.

Stand up comedian Randy Credico, who helped bring about reform of the state’s Rockefeller Drug Laws,  is now setting his sights on the State Comptroller’s office, where he us protesting against state pension fund investments in the private prison industry. He says the prisons’ business model is dependent upon large groups of young men, primarily African American, becoming inmates.

Teachers say they hope Governor Cuomo’s newly appointed education commission will fix problems with the controversial Common Core learning standards. But they say a lot has to change, including the unpopular tests associated with the standards. 

Cuomo named his new panel in a web video.

The Task Force will include educators, teachers, parents, officials from the State Education Department and the teacher’s unions,” Cuomo said in the pre recorded message.

Fixing the state’s troubled ethics commission will be the subject of two hearings in Albany on October 7th and in New York City on October 17th. Reform groups say they are ready with suggestions.

The panel, created by Governor Cuomo in May, is tasked with looking at ways to improve the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, which has been widely criticized as secretive and ineffective. It was created by Governor Cuomo and the legislature during the governor’s first months in office back in 2011.

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

  A new poll finds Governor Cuomo’s campaign for a phased in $15 an hour minimum wage is resonating among his base group of supporters. The Siena poll also finds the governor’s job approval rating is still at near record low levels. 

  The push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is getting some help from union financed advertising, but it still has its opponents. 

Governor Cuomo has been pushing the proposal, which he says he’ll introduce to the legislature in January, to phase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 in the New York City region and 2021 upstate.  The governor has already taken executive action to phase in a higher minimum wage for fast food workers.

New York Republicans reelected Ed Cox to a fourth term as their party’s  chair , while GOP members talked of strategies toward winning more seats in statewide races.  

A new poll finds that, for the first time, Hillary Clinton is viewed negatively by a slim majority of New Yorkers.

The Siena College poll finds that 51% of New Yorkers view the front runner Democratic Presidential candidate negatively, with 46% still Hillary fans. Siena’s Steve Greenberg says that’s significant, in a state that the former First Lady adopted as her own with a home in Westchester, and represented in the Senate for 8 years.

“A net 21 point drop in her favorability rating over the last two months,” said Greenberg. “And it’s across the board”.

Matt Ryan

Governor Cuomo, in an address before the state’s business leaders,  promoted his economic development plans, including the Buffalo Billion initiative, and fended off questions on reports that some of the projects are under investigation by US Attorney Preet Bharara.

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