Matt Ryan/WMHT

One-on-one with Senate Majority Leader Flanagan

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks in the upper chamber. Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was arrested and after an awkward delay, stepped down from his position as majority leader. Then, last Monday his fellow Long Islander John Flanagan succeeded him after a close conference vote. This week the East Northport native sits down with us to discuss his views on the Dream Act, the Safe Act and a host of other end-of-session priorities for Republicans.
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Matt Ryan/WMHT

Budget funds to create logger training program

It seems like a long time now, with the arrest of Dean Skelos and the ascension of new Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, but the state budget passed just seven short weeks ago. We've heard a lot about the new teacher evaluation plan, school aid and ethics reforms but this week on New York NOW we'll take a look at what a small fraction of the $142 billion spending plan is helping create - a logger training program.
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An experimental public campaign finance system for the state Comptroller’s race has fizzled, after the lone candidate who applied for the program failed to meet the minimum threshold to obtain the public monies.

The pilot public campaign financing program, limited to just the state Comptroller’s race as part of a state budget deal.

It was widely condemned at the time by reform groups as fatally flawed. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group called it “cynical.”

The race for Attorney General is the closest of all the statewide contests.  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he wants another four years to continue what he says have been numerous successes, while his opponent, John Cahill says  the incumbent has not been aggressive enough and too cozy with the political establishment in Albany.  

The November 4 ballot includes an amendment to borrow $2 billion dollars to buy new technology for school children, like iPads and other tablets.  Fiscal watchdogs are against it, and the education community has been lukewarm. But with one week left to go before voting day, Governor Cuomo who came up with the idea, has finally started to push for it.

Governor Cuomo defended his decision to quarantine travelers and health care workers returning from West Africa through New York City area airports if they’ve been in contact with Ebola patients. Cuomo’s faced intense criticism since the policy was announced over the weekend, but he says he’s doing what he thinks is necessary to keep the public calm and safe.

During Wednesday’s only gubernatorial debate, Governor Cuomo said that the long awaited health review on potential dangers of hydrofracking will be completed by the end of the year.

Cuomo, answering a question on whether fracking, which is on hold in New York, will begin in the next four years if he’s re elected, says an over two year old health review  will be concluded by the end of the year, though not before Election Day. He says he’s told experts at his Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation to “give me a report.”

Four of the candidates for governor of New York faced off in an hour long debate Wednesday night, where they discussed a number of key issues, and the two major party candidates traded charges of lying,  and even racism.

Governor Cuomo , a Democrat, Republican Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and the Libertarian Party’s  Michael McDermott talked about hydrofracking,  legalizing marijuana and, being in Buffalo- the Bills football team.

Four of the candidates running for Governor of New York will be participating in a debate shown on public television. Watch the full debate above.

Democrat Andrew Cuomo, Republican Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and the Libertarian Party’s Michael McDermott will appear together  in the one hour debate,  the only televised candidate contest of the 2014 governor’s race.

Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

 

Wanna know what crops local farmers are producing? There’s an app for that or at least there will be one soon. Senator Chuck Schumer announced federal funding for Greene County food distributor, Field Goods to integrate technology into their business model.

Donna Williams’ company Field Goods connects many of the Capital Regions and Hudson Valley farms with a larger diverse consumer base, but it can be tricky.

Today longtime U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer endorsed freshman State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, who is in a tough re-election battle for her 46th District seat. 

Next month, voters will decide whether they want to change the way redistricting is done in New York, by voting on a ballet amendment that would change the state’s constitution.  But there are difference of opinion over whether the amendment actually gets rid of gerrymandering, or not.

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