Government news

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — More Americans are using subprime loans to buy cars — a potentially risky move for consumers that has lawmakers in New York state calling for tighter regulations and warning of potential economic fallout.

More than 1 in 4 auto loans is now a subprime loan, up from 1 in 5 in 2009. Average interest rates on a subprime used-car loan are nearly 16 percent, with some rates as high as 25 percent, according to numbers from the New York State Department of Financial Services.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  The Catholic church is opposing efforts in New York to allow alleged sex abuse victims to sue after the statute of limitations has expired. 

Currently, victims have only until they turn 23 to seek charges or file a civil suit. The bill would create a one-year window for anyone to file lawsuits no matter when the alleged abuse occurred. 

A similar law in California passed in 2002 resulted in dioceses paying $1.2 billion in settlements.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office is working with the Rochester Area Community Foundation as part of a program designed to help low-income families lower their energy bills and eliminate serious home health and safety hazards in older homes.

Rochester will get $1 million and Syracuse will also get $1 million for a similar program. The money comes from a court-ordered settlement with American Electric Power, the largest U.S. power company, over violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

NRC: Ginna in the "Green"

Apr 21, 2015

The Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario did not have any inspection findings or performance indicators that were other than green as of the end of last year, with green signifying very low safety significance.

That's according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan.

Sheehan says the NRC indicated one violation involving the medical qualification information for a senior control room operator who needed medication for high blood pressure.

He says the NRC considers the plant to be safe, and that's the bottom line.


HAVANA (AP) — Cuban officials and New York business executives are exploring ways for American companies to do business on the communist-run island despite the longstanding U.S. embargo that makes most trade and investment illegal, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Cuomo was on the first day of a visit that made him the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the recent thaw in relations with the communist nation. He met with Cuba's top officials for U.S. relations along with executives from JetBlue, Chobani Greek Yogurt, Pfizer and other New York-based companies.

Funke: Repeal the Yacht Tax Break

Apr 20, 2015

State Senator Rich Funke says there are many things in the state budget he is proud of, but the so-called yacht tax break is not one of them.

It  gives big tax breaks to buyers of boats or planes over 230-thousand dollars.

Funke says during the budget talks, Governor Cuomo  had the ability to veto the yacht tax break, and he called upon him to do it.

"But it doesn't appear the governor's intention is to veto that so I'm announcing that I'm picking up the ball and leading the charge to repeal the yacht tax break," said Funke.


New York State has established regional task forces in an effort to help crime victims.

Governor Cuomo’s office announced that the four countywide task forces will enhance the way that law enforcement, medical personnel and social services respond to criminal cases involving people with disabilities and special needs who have been victimized.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Rochester.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

After a recent incident of "swatting" in Rochester, Senator Charles Schumer is proposing legislation to impose harsher penalties on offenders.

The purpose of swatting is to trick a local police department into responding to a threatening prank call using emergency personnel like bomb squads, hostage negotiators, and swat teams.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Richard Blumenthal have introduced legislation that would require railroads to install additional safety technology by 2018 to help prevent crashes from speed and human error.

The Democrats from New York and Connecticut say delays are unacceptable for adding the communications and signaling system called Positive Train Control. The system helps slow trains in an emergency.

The senators say it could have prevented crashes.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another New York Democrat, is also a sponsor.

NEW YORK (AP) — Synthetic marijuana has sent 160 people to hospitals in New York state in a little over a week, a spike that prompted authorities to warn Friday that the drug is dangerous and illegal.

Over 120 emergency-room visits since April 8 linked to synthetic pot — known by "spice," ''K2," ''green giant" and other street names — have been in New York City, its Health Department said Friday. The average earlier this year was two to three synthetic marijuana-related emergency room visits per day citywide.