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Capitol Bureau

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at the annual Martin Luther King Day event at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, mocked Republican senators who said they can’t recall President Donald Trump uttering a vulgarity during a meeting at the White House on immigration.

Cuomo, who earlier called the president’s comments “ugly” and “repulsive,” condemned two GOP senators – David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas – who say they either did not hear or do not recall Trump using a vulgar word to describe African countries.

A poll on New Yorkers' attitudes on racism and sexual harassment show that many believe society has a way to go to improve things.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his budget Tuesday, and the news is not expected to be good.

The state faces an over $4.4 billion budget gap, as well as funding cuts and policy changes from Washington that could cost New York and some of its taxpayers billions of dollars.

The governor set the tone in his State of the State speech earlier this month, saying, “2018 may be the toughest year New York has faced in modern history.”

“We have unprecedented challenges ahead on every level,” Cuomo said. 

Shortly after sexual harassment allegations against Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein emerged, numerous people started calling for an independent investigation. But under current law, there are few avenues available for launching a probe.

The 2018 election season is beginning, but state Republicans are still trying to settle on a strong candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he wants to seek a third term. 

Republican State Party Chair Ed Cox said the GOP will have a “good,” qualified and viable candidate.

Karen DeWitt

Republicans in the State Senate say that, despite the over
$4 billion dollar structural deficit, taxes need to be cut further and a property tax cap must be made permanent.

Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan says the state needs to cut income taxes, property taxes and energy taxes, in the midst of a brutally cold winter. And he says some tax cuts for middle class New Yorkers that begin to take effect this year need to be speeded up.

“We actually want to accelerate the tax cuts,” Flanagan said.

Karen DeWitt

The state’s Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, warns of a “problematic” budget season, as the state faces a structural deficit, changes to the federal tax code, and uncertainty over continued funding from Washington.

DiNapoli, speaking at a forum sponsored by the Albany Times Union, says this year’s $4.4 billion dollar budget gap is on top of expected cuts from President Trump and the Republican led Congress.  

“On health care alone, we still stand to lose billions of dollars,” DiNapoli. “We really could be behind the eight ball.”

Monday was the first full day of session in the New York State legislature, and lawmakers have a lot to contend with, including a multi billion dollar budget deficit, as well as the beginning of an election year.

The state Assembly went first, with remarks by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The speaker, a Star Trek fan, used one of his favorite quotes from the series as he offered a critique of what he calls “radical policies” by President Trump and the Republican Congress in Washington.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State speech this week, floated the idea of converting the state income tax to a payroll tax to help reverse the new federal law that limits deductibility for state and local taxes. Many support the concept, but businesses say it’s not so easy to make the change – and it could bring unforeseen complications. 

Karen DeWitt

2018 will be a year of criminal trials for former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as former leaders of the Legislature. Reform groups say they hope the lengthy court proceedings will spur lawmakers to enact some ethics reforms.

Six continuous months of corruption trials kick off on Jan. 22, when Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco faces bribery charges for allegedly soliciting more than $300,000 from companies doing business with the state.

Blair Horner with the New York Public Interest Research Group said it will be a year unlike any other.

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