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U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is bringing charges against a former portfolio manager in the state’s pension fund, saying he accepted bribes — that included prostitutes and illegal drugs — from two hedge fund brokers.

Matt Ryan New York Now

In Albany’s own version of Groundhog Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still keeping open the possibility of a special session before the year ends that could include legalizing ride-sharing services statewide and a pay raise for lawmakers.

Cuomo, during a brief stop in Albany to preside over the Electoral College, said he’s still trying to work out a deal with the Legislature to return before the end of the year to act on a number of issues.

“It’s up in the air,” Cuomo said. “They could.”

Karen DeWitt

New York members of the Electoral College met Monday in the Senate chamber at the State Capitol to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton.

First among them was former President Bill Clinton, who blamed the FBI and the Russians for his wife’s defeat in the presidential race.

The former president voted for his spouse, Hillary Clinton, as did Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and other elected officials and politically connected Democrats from around the state, for a total of 29 votes.

Discussions over a December special session has turned to finger pointing, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate Republicans blame each other over lack of progress.

Matt Ryan New York Now

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers hold a special session next week, they are likely to consider whether to allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate outside of New York City. 

Ride-sharing services have stepped up their lobbying and ad campaigns in hopes of winning approval to expand into upstate and on Long Island by the end of the year, including a $1 million campaign by Uber. The ad, in part, says, “There’s one thing New Yorkers really want for Christmas this year. And it isn’t a one-horse sleigh.”

WRVO Ryan Delaney

The state’s comptroller has a plan to reduce corruption in the awarding of economic development contracts that has led to the indictment of former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was taken out of the review process for some state economic development contracts in a state law passed in 2011, and since then, a former top aide to Cuomo and a former key State University official, along with seven others, have been charged with bribery and bid-rigging, among other crimes.

Two years ago, the state banned hydrofracking of natural gas within the state’s borders. But a group of Cornell scientists who study the effects of climate change say New Yorkers are using more natural gas than ever. 

In December 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration decided not to allow fracking within New York’s borders. But two years later, scientists and professors from Cornell University say the state’s use of natural gas is on the rise, increasing by 18 percent with more than 500,000 new business and residential customers signing up for gas service.

A committee of the state Board of Regents recommends spending $2.1 billion more on schools in the new state budget, saying it’s time to continue an effort begun a decade ago to funnel more money to the state’s poorest school districts.

The State Aid subcommittee’s recommendations, which are expected to be approved by the full Board of Regents later Tuesday, would phase in, over three years, an annual increase of 7 percent on school funding, for a total of $2.1 billion more a year by the 2019-20 school year.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Talks between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still continuing over whether to hold a special session before the holidays — and the clock is ticking.

State lawmakers are still deliberating over whether to hold a special session in December that could, in part, give themselves a pay raise. The salary increase also could extend to Cuomo and his top commissioners.

It would be the first pay hike granted in 17 years for lawmakers, who make a base salary of $79,500.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has spoken to federal prosecutors regarding the prosecution of his former top aide and eight others involved in an economic development scandal.

The governor said he’s met with federal prosecutors since former top aide Joe Percoco, a former lobbyist who was a close Cuomo associate, the head of SUNY Polytechnic and six others were charged with bribery, bid-rigging and other corruption charges in connection with the governor’s upstate economic development programs.

“I’ve talked to them about the case that they’ve brought,” Cuomo said.

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