Capitol Bureau

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced his bill to increase the state’s minimum wage from the present $7.25 an hour to $8.50, saying its “absurd” to think that anyone can make a living on the current amount.

A one paragraph clause in Governor Cuomo’s budget has caused some concern among state lawmakers over the separation of powers between the governor and the legislature.

It’s one short paragraph in the hundreds of pages in Governor Cuomo’s budget plan, and it’s repeated in several different places. It says, essentially, that the governor’s budget office can move money around in state agencies to consolidate business services, like information technology and other functions, without the permission of the legislature.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

The New York State legislature’s proposed redistricted lines have been finally been released to the public. The plans for Senate districts are drawing the most fire,  for the addition of a newly created 63rd district and configurations that pit some incumbent minority party Democrats against one another.

Governor Cuomo’s budget director, testifying before a legislative hearing, faced tough questions from lawmakers on the governor’s new proposed defined benefit pension system for state workers.

Governor Cuomo has proposed a new benefit tier for future state employees, known as Tier VI. It would , for the first time, offer as an option a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401k.

Mayors from across the state came to the Capitol to testify to a joint legislative fiscal committee on Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget. While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went out of his way to offer support to the governor and for his budget plan, Mayors of upstate cities, including Rochester Mayor Tom Richards,  begged for a bail out.

Actor Debra Winger and Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox were among hundreds of anti fracking protesters who descended upon the State Capitol Monday, in one of the largest demonstrations against the natural gas drilling process to date.


Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich intends it as an insult  when he calls  President Obama the “food stamp President”. Governor Andrew Cuomo seems not to fear being called the food stamp governor- he’s proposing ways that more New Yorkers in need can access the federal program.


A plan to build the largest convention center in the nation was the centerpiece of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s  State of the State speech.  Since then, the plan has met with mixed reviews, and the governor admits he has more selling to do.

Marie Cusick, WMHT

Governor Cuomo is for the second year in a row asking the state legislature to enact some changes that promise to shake up business as usual at the Capitol.  While, the governor was successful in persuading the legislature to adopt his ideas during his first year in office, it’s not yet known whether he have as much luck in the second year.

Cuomo’s budget plan contains at least two major policy shifts that the governor admits “pose dramatic change” that will unsettle the “big players” in Albany.

The dates for primary elections in 2012 remain up in the air, with Democrats wanting a June date and Republicans preferring August, as they await a federal court ruling.