Government news

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York will honor the 49 people killed in a shooting at a gay bar in Florida with a monument.

Cuomo announced the LGBT Memorial Commission on Sunday, before the start of the annual gay pride parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The 10-member commission will come up with recommendations on the design of the memorial and the specific location by year's end.

Cuomo says the memorial will honor all victims of hate and intolerance.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers have voted to gradually pay for public defenders statewide to ensure the poor have lawyers at arraignments and fill other gaps in their constitutionally required legal counsel.

The bill heading to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk follows his administration's settlement two years ago with the New York Civil Liberties Union. The group sued seven years earlier alleging New York systematically provided inadequate staff and money.

New York City and 57 counties currently fund defenders.

Alex Crichton

Members of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council held a public meeting today to outline what they call is a very big step for photonics in the region.

Council co-chair Anne Kress is a member of the New York State Photonics board of officers, which approved a $106 million dollars budget for AIM photonics initiative.

"The majority of that budget will stay here in the Rochester region.  It's for the testing, assembly, and packaging facility. The decision was made to keep that in our community," she says.

(WXXI News & AP) Democrats carried a remarkable House floor sit-in into a second day, disrupting the business of Congress with demands for gun-control votes in an unruly scene broadcast live to the world.

Republicans branded the move as a publicity stunt before summarily adjourning the chamber until after the Fourth of July.

Dredging of Rochester Harbor

Jun 21, 2016

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter gathered with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and cement maker EssRoc to announce the dredging of the harbor is complete.

Slaughter secured federal funding for the dredging this year and next.

She says it's vital the silt is cleared from the waterway to allow for boat and ship traffic.                 

"If the silt were to back this up to the point where the heavy boats could not get in, it would have a dreadful effect on the economy of Rochester," she said.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

With mosquito-borne illnesses in New York increasing, Senator Charles Schumer came to Rochester Monday afternoon to urge the rail freight company CSX to clean up a swampy area that has formed behind homes along their tracks in Charlotte.

Schumer said the buildup of branches and other debris in the area has caused the standing water.

WASHINGTON (AP)  The Supreme Court has rejected challenges to assault weapons bans in Connecticut and New York, in the aftermath of the shooting attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 50 people dead. 

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that upheld laws that were passed in response to another mass shooting involving a semi-automatic weapon, the elementary school attack in Newtown, Connecticut. 

A bill that would have allowed ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate outside of New York City failed to gain enough traction to pass in the waning hours of this year’s state legislative session.

The roadblock appears to have been a battle over the insurance rates that would be required.

A spokesperson for the Upstate Transportation Association, which represents taxi and livery drivers upstate called the result “a landmark victory for public safety advocates over corporate interests.”

(AP) Top lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo have reached a deal on a proposed Constitutional amendment to strip the state pensions from lawmakers convicted of corruption. The Constitutional amendment requires voter approval.

The compromise announced Friday night would also strengthen laws prohibiting campaigns from working with so-called independent political organizations, which can spend limitless amounts of money, as a way to circumvent campaign finance limits.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has announced that the city is issuing a new request for proposals for development of what is known as  Parcel 5,  at the old Midtown Plaza site downtown.

The city had issued a request for proposals in January, but Warren says they didn't get a lot of interest at that time.