May 23rd - 8:59 pm
The push for publicly finance campaigns is bringing together advocates for several other causes. Wednesday, anti-fracking groups and affordable housing activists held a joint press conference to call for getting money out of politics, arguing that the current system gives corporations and wealthy individuals too much power. Jaron Benjamin of Real Rent Reform talks about the real estate industry’s influence, and what’s known as the “LLC Loophole.”
May 23rd - 8:54 pm
There have been plenty of news reports about the battle underway among education officials and teachers unions. State education officials have put in place Common Core standards for testing – and that has upset many teachers. The state’s biggest teacher union, NYSUT, is running ads calling for the Common Core standards to be scaled back, suggesting that our students are being tested too much. State Education Commissioner Dr. John King disagrees.
May 23rd - 8:52 pm
County clerks officers have been flooded with requests from pistol permit holders asking their information be made private. The SAFE Act made permit information accessible under the Freedom of Information Act. But permit holders can opt out, and thousands are choosing to do just that. Now Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola says his office can handle all the requests- so they will keep all records private. Merola explains the problem.
May 23rd - 8:50 pm
Governor Cuomo wrapped up his statewide tour of college campuses in New Paltz where he announced that there would be a tax-free zone established there – along with several other select universities throughout the state. The initiative is designed to bolster economic activity in industries tied to the expertise of these schools. Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz discusses the new plan.
May 22nd - 8:58 pm
Pro-life groups are taking a new approach with their latest ad opposing the governor’s women’s equality agenda, the details of which we still have not seen. But it is expected to include an abortion rights measure. And the new ad argues that should not even be on the table right now while the economy continues to struggle. Kirsten Smith of New Yorkers for Life and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms’ Jason McGuire explain.
May 22nd - 8:54 pm
Tuesday, more than 95 percent of school districts voted to approve their budgets. But that number was much lower for districts trying to override the property tax cap. Bob Lowry of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and Tim Kremer from the New York State School Boards Association discuss the results.
May 22nd - 8:52 pm
There’s been a lot of debate over the deal between the Independent Democratic Conference that helped the Senate Republicans stay in power. That agreement is often criticized by the so called “regular” Democrats who say it prevents progressive legislation from coming to the floor. But rarely mentioned is something that pre-dated the historic IDC GOP coalition. A Senator from Brooklyn who ran on the Democratic line and then decided to conference with the Republicans. Senator Simcha Felder explains his decision to conference with the Republicans, and whether he would ever change sides.
May 22nd - 8:50 pm
Despite many attempts to change the subject, the Vito Lopez scandal has been front and center for Assembly Democrats all week. After Lopez’s resignation became official on Monday, Speaker Silver announced plans to change the way sexual harassment cases are investigated in the future. Now, the conference is working to get those changes in place and get back to work passing bills. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle explains.
May 21st - 9:13 pm
Despite Governor Cuomo’s efforts, and his recent investment in a national ad campaign, many small business leaders feel the economic climate in New York is still struggling compared to other states. National Federation of Independent Business president Dan Danner and NFIB New York director Mike Durant discuss what the state could do to change that.
May 21st - 8:54 pm
There’s a lot of talk about getting money out of politics… either by lowering donation limits or establishing publicly financed elections. But when it comes to New York State, if you want to find the money – you need to look at what we call “Housekeeping” Accounts. These are set up by political parties on the state, local, and legislative levels, and they can accept unlimited donations. Tuesday, Common Cause NY is out with a detailed report looking at how this loophole has been used to impact policy, and get politicians elected. Executive director Susan Lerner explains the findings.