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Capitol Bureau

Matt Ryan New York Now

Lawmakers grilled Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development chair Wednesday at a budget hearing, as some of the programs are embroiled in a corruption scandal that’s led to charges against several former associates of the governor.

Nine people have pleaded guilty or been indicted in connection with alleged bid-rigging and other corruption charges involving some of Cuomo’s economic development programs. They face trial later this year.

Eight protesters were arrested outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office Tuesday as they called for more money for legal aid services for the state’s poorest.

Protesters chanted, “What do we want? Lawyers,” and blockaded an entrance to Cuomo’s suite of offices at the Capitol.

After years of what critics say was underfunding legal aid for New York’s lowest-income people, the Senate and Assembly passed a bill in 2016 to create a state-funded system to ensure that indigent criminal defendants receive legal representation, as is their right under the U.S. Constitution.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a crowd of cheering Planned Parenthood advocates that he’s proposing an amendment to put protections from the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into the state’s constitution.

Cuomo said Monday that women’s rights “are under attack” in Washington with a possible Supreme Court nominee from President Donald Trump that could lead to the repeal of the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade. The governor said he’ll try to protect those rights in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering his top attorneys to help defend detainees and their families affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants.

The assistance comes in the midst of the second day of protests across the nation, including at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Cuomo offered the aid of the lawyers in his office to provide any assistance needed to detainees and their families caught up in Trump’s order that has left many immigrants and refugees stranded.

An upstate business group is pleased with some portions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017 agenda, especially a plan to expand ride-hailing services.

Unshackle Upstate’s Greg Biryla said he’s relieved that there are no major proposals that would adversely affect employers this year, like last year’s minimum wage increase and requirement to provide paid family leave.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is proposing new income tax brackets on New York’s wealthiest, with a top tax rate of over 10 percent on those making more than $100 million a year.

The new tax brackets proposed by Assembly Democrats would raise rates on those making more than $1 million a year, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has outlined in his budget.

But new, higher rates would apply to those who make more than $5 million and $10 million, with a top bracket of 10.32 percent for New Yorkers who earn more than $100 million a year.

More than a decade after the state’s highest court ordered New York lawmakers to spend billions more a year on schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides are moving further away from ever fulfilling the order, critics say.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled in 2006 that many of the state’s schoolchildren were deprived of their constitutional right to a “sound, basic education” and that billions more needed to be spent on schools each year.

Matt Richmond WSKG

President Donald Trump revived the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipeline with a highly publicized executive order this week. In New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has quietly acted to further energy pipelines across the state.

The leader of the Senate Republicans said he’s not happy with what he said is over $800 million in new taxes and fees tucked away in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new state budget.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said he’s upset over about new proposed fees that a preliminary analysis shows total $803 million – with $250 million in new Department of Motor Vehicles fees alone.

Flanagan said he’s also not happy with the way Cuomo presented his spending plan to lawmakers. He said Cuomo failed to mention all of the new fees in a private briefing at the executive mansion.

One of the chief arguments over the state budget will be whether to renew an income tax surcharge on New York’s wealthiest.

The state is facing a $3.5 billion deficit, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to add a billion dollars to the state’s public schools. He also wants to offer free tuition at public colleges for families making less than $125,000 a year.

Cuomo said continuing the tax surcharge — known as the millionaires’ tax — is the simplest way to finance all that.

“Frankly we don’t have the resources to lose the millionaires’ revenue now,” Cuomo said.

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