Governor Cuomo’s administration and the legislature are spending around $1.3 million dollars this year in payments to private law firms, and the public is paying for it, says a fiscally conservative study center.
The Empire Center analyzed reports filed on line by the legislature, and found that the state Assembly paid over $650,000 to outside attorneys, while the State Senate gave a private law firm over $400,000 between October of 2013 and March of 2014.
For the first time in several years, New York has a surplus of three to four billion dollars. Governor Cuomo says he’s still looking at options on how best to use it.
The state has recently been the beneficiary of a windfall from major lawsuit settlements with several banks and insurance companies. After years of running a debt or breaking even, New York now has over four billion additional dollars, say Governor Cuomo. Cuomo says he’s still thinking about the best use for the money.
One of the biggest challenges for small upstate cities like Schenectady or Troy can be the abundance of "zombie properties" or residences that have long since been abandoned. Four of these municipalities in the greater Capital Region are hoping the Center for Technology in Government can help them fight this urban blight and make their communities come alive again.
Governor Cuomo says he’s not concerned about reports that the casino gambling industry may not be all that healthy. The negative news comes as the state is considering authorizing four new gambling centers in the next few months.
Prospective casino operators got a chance to ask the Cuomo Administration questions about details of the process for choosing licensees for four upstate casinos. They won’t get answers, though for several days.
The structure of the event was a bit awkward. Gambling conglomerates, and other developers, who have all paid $1 million dollars each for the privilege of being considered for a casino site, attended a mandatory session held by Governor Cuomo’s Gaming Commission.