Tom Precious, The Buffalo News
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Tom Precious

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ALBANY – New York's state budget could be adopted in phases, instead of all at once, under a plan Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo floated today. He said he recognizes the uncertainty of federal fiscal policies under President Trump that could sharply affect the state’s finances. The governor said the “extender” route would be taken if he and lawmakers cannot agree on …

ALBANY – As lawmakers try to wrap up bread-and-butter fiscal issues of school funding and tax levels before a new fiscal year starts Saturday, negotiators at the state Capitol are still apart on how 16- and 17-year-olds who commit crimes are handled in the state’s justice system. The “raise the age” advocates are pushing to end decades of the criminal justice sy…

ALBANY – To listen to top state officials, Washington is poised to hammer the finances of New York State government. Notwithstanding President Trump’s decision to halt the vote to replace the Affordable Care Act, which had billions of dollars at stake for New York, other proposals in the Washington pipeline would reduce federal money for public education, and cut bl…

ALBANY – The congressional Republicans' attempt to force the state to assume counties’ expenses for Medicaid placed five New York county executives in an awkward position. The five are the only Democratic county executives in New York, and for years they have called on Albany to relieve them of the obligation to pay for part of Medicaid, the insurance program for el…

ALBANY – The Seneca Nation’s decision this week to stop paying the state more than $100 million a year in casino revenue sharing caught leaders in Albany completely off guard. But on the Seneca territories, more than 300 miles away, tribal officials have known for months that this day was coming. Seneca officials did not raise a grievance with the state in 2013 w…

ALBANY – The Seneca Nation of Indians is ending all casino payments to the state government effective next week, setting up a confrontation with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The decision stops the flow of more than $110 million a year to Albany, a portion of which then goes to host casino communities in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. The Senecas say they are abidin…

ALBANY – As efforts to legalize ride-hailing in upstate intensify, one key question remains: Who would regulate transportation companies like Uber if New York permits their services? Localities now regulate taxi and liveries. But will the state be the sole entity to create and enforce regulations affecting the operations of firms like Uber and Lyft in upstate and on L…

ALBANY –  Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor President Trump fired, announced today he is joining the staff of the law school at New York University. “This is one way I plan to keep working hard on important issues I care about,’’ Bharara posted on his Twitter account Tuesday morning. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to continue addressing the issues…

ALBANY – Despite the wrangling at the Capitol, in excess of 90 percent of the state’s upcoming $160 billion budget already has been decided. It wasn’t because of keen negotiating by the governor or lawmakers, but the reality that so much of the state’s spending is largely on auto pilot, whether for Medicaid or state payroll. But with two weeks to go before th…

ALBANY – One Democrat blasting other Democrats for lining up with "Trump Republicans" can set off a firestorm. The ever-simmering venom between two dueling groups of Democrats in the state Senate played out in public Wednesday in a series of stinging verbal assaults during debate over an otherwise symbolic, non-binding budget resolution. During one heated moment, S…

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he wasn’t really aware of the controversy surrounding the firing of Preet Bharara as U.S. Attorney and therefore had no comment. “I didn’t follow the situation. There’s a transition from one administration to the next, but beyond that I haven’t followed it,’’ Cuomo said. It was Cuomo's first public comments on t…

ALBANY – Both houses of the Legislature will approve separate state budget plans this week permitting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to spend $500 million on a new round of Buffalo Billion economic development programs in Western New York. But while neither the Senate nor Assembly is calling for a direct say in how state money is spent by Cuomo, the houses are demanding what la…

The state health commissioner last year declared New York’s medical marijuana program a success. But the five companies that the state selected in 2015 to get marijuana into the hands of people suffering from debilitating and sometimes terminal diseases such as cancer,  AIDS and multiple sclerosis tell a different story. “Our company is not close to break-even …

ALBANY – In shades of their bitter campaign, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Chris Collins on Friday dueled over a Medicaid plan that, for now, is far from certain to even become law. Hochul, who lost her congressional seat to Collins in 2012, started things off on Friday by putting out a lengthy statement about a plan by the Republican congressman that she said would …

ALBANY – The Assembly unveiled Friday a new measure that permits ride-hailing services in upstate, but its stronger consumer and driver protections differ from what the Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are pushing. The legislation was introduced in the Assembly on Friday night. The 26-page single spaced bill makes demands of both ride-hailing companies and their drivers. …