Tom Precious, The Buffalo News

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Tom Precious


ALBANY – No more elephants in circuses and parades. Legislation that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed Thursday forbids their use in those and other entertainment events. The prohibition does not kick in for two years. “Once again, New York State is proving to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves,’’ said state Sen. Terrence Murphy, a Westchester Co…

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in recent weeks has talked up the possible need for a special session of the Legislature to deal with such issues as federal funding cuts and additional bailout funds for victims of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River flooding. Assembly Democrats returned to Albany Tuesday to huddle in a private conference to discuss a range of issues com…

ALBANY – There was a time a few years ago when Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t have to listen to shots fired his way from the GOP. Nowadays, the Republican Governors Association headed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is regularly attacking Cuomo, who is looking to seek a third term in 2018 and one of many Democrats maneuvering for a possible White House run in 2020. The …

ALBANY – On the eve of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Buffalo area, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Monday urged New Yorkers to demand an explanation about Republican proposals to eliminate a major federal tax deduction used by millions of state residents. “When Vice President Pence arrives in Buffalo I hope he’s prepared to explain why he…

ALBANY – Many supporters of the state referendum to convene a constitutional convention are citing as reason the possibilities to diminish incumbent-friendly campaign finance laws, enact term limits and end gerrymandered districts. Other advocates are pressing a much different reason to vote yes: legalization of marijuana in New York. Stymied in their efforts to ge…

ALBANY – As many as 800,000 New Yorkers with a disability could be eligible to enroll in a new savings plan that will not jeopardize their access to financial assistance through programs such as Social Security and Medicaid. “We want to get the word out,’’ said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office is administering the program. Modeled on the 529 co…

ALBANY – Tom DiNapoli just wasn’t into playing the political rumor game. For the better part of a year, Albany has been whispering about a scenario in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo would not seek a third term in 2018, despite his non-stop fundraising and frequent statewide barnstorming. Under the theory, Cuomo is interested in keeping his name alive for a possible 2020…

ALBANY – Under mounting pressure, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reversed himself and said he will, after all, be giving away the remaining $60,000 in contributions his campaign received from Harvey Weinstein. The statement coming from his campaign Thursday evening came as an about-face from what Cuomo himself declared just hours earlier: That there was no money from Weinste…

ALBANY – Republicans are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not getting rid of all of the contributions he received from Harvey Weinstein, the movie producer numerous women have accused of rape or sexual harassment. The New York Republican Party said Cuomo is the sole Democratic politician not donating all of Weinstein’s contributions to charities “In the dictio…

ALBANY – A leading environmental group has scored members of the State Legislature for their voting records during the 2017 session and Western New York lawmakers received a broad range of ratings. EPL/Environmental Advocates gave perfect scores for the votes taken during the six-month session by four Democrats from Western New York: Sen. Timothy Kennedy and Assembly …

ALBANY – Opposition groups – led by labor unions – have been on a feverish fundraising and spending tear in a last-ditch bid to defeat the statewide ballot question next month. The chief opposition group – New Yorkers Against Corruption – have raised a total of $1.5 million, according to the latest campaign filing this week.  All but $4,900 of that has come …

ALBANY – The leaders of the Republican, Conservative and Working Families parties all have come out against the referendum to hold a state constitutional convention. Now, the head of the state Democratic Party has joined them. “I am not in favor of a constitutional question because many of the rights we are afforded in the constitution I’m just concerned will n…

ALBANY – There doesn’t need to be a choice between a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus or indigenous people, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Let’s do both, Cuomo said Monday as kicked off another march in Manhattan’s Columbus Day Parade. “Should we honor Christopher Columbus or should we honor the indigenous people. It’s not either or. It’s both. Of cour…

ALBANY – Former top judges, onetime aides to the late Gov. Mario Cuomo and a couple of former senators are among the donors to a committee pushing for a yes vote on a referendum to hold the first constitutional convention in 50 years. Donors to the Committee for a Constitutional Convention, managed by Evan Davis, include people with long ties to Albany. The committee …

ALBANY – Preserving the status quo can create the strangest of bedfellows in Albany. Just look at the jockeying over whether New York should hold a convention to consider changes to the state Constitution. Groups that could seldom stand to be in the same room with one another are working together to defeat the question known as Proposal One that goes to voters in four…