Government news

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  State officials have agreed to provide more than $7 million to help provide legal assistance to people who have been denied federal disability benefits. 

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced the funding on Monday. 

Most of the money _ about $6.8 million _ is being awarded through the Disability Advocacy Program to 12 agencies to provide legal representation to people whose disability benefits have been denied or may be discontinued. 

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Its official: A $110 million federal grant will be matched with half a billion dollars in public and private investments in order to create a Photonics Research and Manufacturing Hub in Rochester. Vice President Joe Biden, Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall, and Governor Andrew Cuomo came together with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Mayor Lovely Warren, and other prominent officials at the Canal Ponds Business Park to make the announcement.

Rochester City Council is releasing a survey designed to see how they feel about the plan for police to wear body cameras. Even though City Council doesn't officially vote on the policy that will implement the policy, it wanted to help gather input from city residents.

The survey received nearly 3,000 responses and nearly 88 percent of those surveyed think that RPD officers should wear a camera.

Councilman Adam McFadden, who is the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, says the survey backs up what he's heard from many constituents.

TWC News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News)  A $610 million research and manufacturing hub dedicated to the science of photonics _ the use of light in technology _ will be developed in western New York, federal and state officials said Monday, which could mean thousands of jobs for the region. 

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is marking the 25th anniversary of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cuomo on Sunday signed two pieces of legislation that strengthen state protections for people with disabilities. He also signed a proclamation recognizing the anniversary of the federal act.

ALBANY (AP) Sen. Charles Schumer says the nation should increase funds for the development of high-tech sensors that can disable a car's ignition if its driver is drunk.

The New York Democrat said Sunday that he is supporting legislation that would increase funding for research and development of the new sensors. The technology works by detecting alcohol in breath or even the touch of skin. If a person's alcohol level is found to be above the legal limit to drive, the car's ignition will not start.

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has rejected former New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's latest bid to toss out corruption charges against him.

Federal Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan ruled Friday that prosecutors have sufficiently described charges in an indictment brought against Silver after his January arrest.

Silver's lawyers say they're reviewing the ruling and are looking forward to a trial, which they say will clear his name.

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York state senator has been convicted on federal charges he sought to sabotage an investigation targeting him for embezzlement.

A Brooklyn jury reached the verdict Friday in the corruption case against Sen. John Sampson.

He was found guilty of one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements.

He was acquitted on six other counts, including witness tampering.

Vice President Joe Biden is coming to Rochester on Monday. That according to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter who released this statement:

I am truly excited to welcome my longtime friend and former colleague, Vice President Joe Biden, in Rochester on Monday,” said Rep. Slaughter. “I’m terribly bullish on Rochester and my friends in the White House hear it from me all the time – we’re home to innovative companies, a highly skilled workforce, world-class education institutions, and so much more. I welcome Vice President Biden to Rochester.”

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Rajesh Barnabas is an activist, educator, and TV producer for Rochester Community Television. Though he is running as a Green Party candidate for County Executive, his proposals are ideologically socialist.

For example, Barnabas says the greatest way to reduce city's carbon footprint is to give residents public ownership of the utilities.

"Without a victory over capitalism, we can not have a sustainable victory for the environment."