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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Two western New York politicians are facing felony charges they violated state election law.

Republican state Sen. Robert Ortt of Niagara County pleaded not guilty Thursday in Albany to charges that, as mayor of North Tonawanda, he used a no-show job to funnel money to his wife.

Meanwhile, Ortt's predecessor, former Republican Sen. George Maziarz, pleaded not guilty to charges that he used campaign money to secretly pay an ex-staffer accused of sexual harassment.

Maziarz, Ortt indicted

Mar 23, 2017

Former State Senator George Maziarz and his successor, Republican State Senator Rob Ortt, have been indicted by an Albany County grand jury on felony election law tied to a campaign donations.   WBFO's Jay Moran talks with Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy about the indictments.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office has reached a $540,000 settlement with a Virginia-based retailer and financing firm that fraudulently charged hundreds of military members.

Schneiderman says Wednesday that the settlement with Norfolk-based Freedom Stores will clear debt and judgments charged to 257 soldiers from New York serving at various locations across the U.S.

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch are in their third day.

Follow developments with NPR's live blog:

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York state is launching a program to provide electric cars buyers with rebates of up to $2,000.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the $55 million rebate program is designed to spur more electric car use in New York and help reduce carbon emissions. The rebates are available to New York residents who buy eligible cars through participating new car dealers.

The rebates of up to $2,000 will go toward purchases of new plug-in hybrid electric cars, all-electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell cars.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is taking questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee in the second day of his confirmation hearing. 

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An international delegation from Greece was in Rochester on a learning tour, meeting with local officials to discuss migration and resettlement issues.

The group is taking part in the United States Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

Vice Mayor on Migrant and Refugee Affairs for the City of Athens, Eleftherios Papagiannakis, says they are here to learn what US cities are doing for migrant integration through the country's resettlement program.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Construction contractors, engineers, architects and environmental advocates are expected to gather at New York's State Capitol to urge lawmakers to increase spending on new roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and water systems.

The coalition, called Rebuild NY Now, says these projects will not only address the state's aging infrastructure, but also create good jobs around New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the New York State Gaming Commission this week formally endorsed the plan announced late last month to preserve the racing season at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack.

That season had been in doubt, partly due to the difficult in trying to predict how the opening of the del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County would affect revenues. All of the various parties including del Lago helped forge this agreement.

Martin Kaufman / WXXI News

Senator Charles Schumer  (D-NY) made a stop in Victor on Thursday to launch a push to preserve tax deductions.

He went to a home in that Ontario County town to say that local homeowners are in jeopardy since the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has talked about changes to property tax deductions.

Schumer is concerned about the possible loss of deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes.

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