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.
Advocates of raising the minimum wage see hope in recent statements by the leader of the State Senate, and hope a deal can be struck by the end of the year.
Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos, whose party will control the Senate in January, says while he thinks the state’s gradual increase of the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour next year is good enough, he’s willing to at least discuss raising it even higher. Senator Skelos, after meeting with the Republican members, says he also wants a pay raise for Senators.
New York State will begin 2015 with the largest one time windfall budget surplus since the end of World War II, due to settlements with major banks after the financial crisis. Fiscal watchdog groups are warning lawmakers not to go crazy with ideas for how to spend it.
The settlements from Bank of America, PriceWaterhouseCooper and other financial institutions have netted the state $5.1 billion dollars in settlements over alleged misconduct during the 2008 Wall Street melt down.
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.