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Gov. Cuomo announces series of voting reform proposals

Jan
8
2017

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is once again urging state lawmakers to allow early voting access in New York as part of a series of voting reform measures his office unveiled on Sunday.

Cuomo, who last year proposed early voting and automatic voter registration at state licensing offices, is also calling for same-day voter registration, saying in a news release the measures would “remove unnecessary barriers that prevent participation in elections and increase accuracy within the voting process.”

“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. This past election shined a bright light on the deficiencies of New York’s antiquated election laws and the artificial barriers they create that prevent and discourage voters from exercising this sacred right,” Cuomo said. “These proposals...| read more ››

Cuomo proposes free college tuition assistance for eligible students

Jan
3
2017

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday proposed free state college tuition assistance to ease the burden of paying for higher education for hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income students.

Cuomo announced the Excelsior Scholarship college degree program, which would help cover the cost of SUNY and CUNY tuition, including at two-year community colleges, for students whose families earn up to $125,000 annually. Individuals also would qualify.

The governor made the announcement before a cheering audience of high school students, labor leaders and elected officials at LaGuardia Community College.

Cuomo said of college debt, “That is not fair, that is not right.”

He said it hobbles the futures of young people. “The debt is so high, it’s like starting a...| read more ››

Chuck Schumer to vow Dems will hold Donald Trump ‘accountable’

Jan
3
2017

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Schumer prodded President-elect Donald Trump and said Democrats will hold him and the Republican majority “accountable” to the American people and the law as the New Yorker made his first speech Tuesday as Senate minority leader.

“With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency,” Schumer said as he warned Trump about using social media to make policy. “These issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. We cannot tweet them away.”

Schumer also criticized Trump for calling Russian leader Vladimir Putin “very smart” for ignoring American sanctions, saying that “conducting foreign policy by tweet while spurning vital intelligence briefings . . . should alarm Democrats and Republicans alike.”

In remarks made on...| read more ››

DuWayne Gregory re-elected Suffolk presiding officer

Jan
3
2017

Suffolk’s Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory won his fourth term Tuesday to lead the 18-member county legislature for another year, vowing to focus on county’s budget problems.

Gregory was voted in on an 11-5 party line vote, with Republican lawmakers nominating Legis. Kevin McCaffrey, GOP caucus leader, as a symbolic alternative.

Despite his candidacy, McCaffrey complimented Gregory on being evenhanded with the minority Republicans.

Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) and Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) were not present, but had excused absences.

Gregory said after the vote that he plans to name an ad hoc budget committee in the next few weeks to concentrate on cutting the county’s structural deficit, more closely scrutinize spending by county contractors and tackle fiscal matters lawmakers did...| read more ››

Cuomo creates new team to focus on minimum wage law

Jan
2
2017

A 200-member team of investigators has been assembled to help ensure businesses across the state comply with the new minimum wage law that took effect Saturday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his top aides announced Monday in Manhattan.

The Multiagency Enforcement and Outreach Unit will hold employers accountable by notifying employees of their rights, collecting their complaints and conducting investigations, Cuomo said.

New York State is moving in phases toward a $15 minimum wage statewide — a plan Cuomo signed into law last April.

“One thing I want to make clear, this is not a voluntary effort,” the Democratic governor told reporters at his midtown offices. “This is the law. And if a business does not follow the law, they...| read more ››

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