Tom Precious

Author

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo embraced the spread of state-sanctioned gambling during his first six years in office, from expanded lottery and commercial casinos to daily fantasy sports wagering. One of the outcomes, though, was that churches, fire halls and veterans’ posts that run bingo games, raffles and other games of chance suffered with the saturation of new gamb…

ALBANY – There are no specific plans to bring a cashless toll system to the upstate portions of the Thruway even though it now operates at the Tappan Zee Bridge between Rockland and Westchester counties, a Cuomo administration official told lawmakers Wednesday. “We’ve looked at it. We have no plans at the moment,’’ Bill Finch, the acting executive director of …

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo counts on $1.2 billion in "fiscal gimmicks" to keep spending growth below 2 percent in his proposed 2017 state budget, a government watchdog agency said Monday. The financial maneuverings mask the true nature of the budget’s growth, said the Citizens Budget Commission. The true level of state spending would rise by 3.2 percent withou…

ALBANY – U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara today asked a federal judge to temporarily hold in abeyance a new defense motion to dismiss corruption charges against three former LPCiminelli executives. Two days after lawyers for the three  defendants asked that the criminal charges against them be dropped – or that the future trial be held in Buffalo and not Manhattan – B…

ALBANY – Three former LPCiminelli executives charged in the Buffalo Billion corruption case have a constitutional right to be tried where they are accused of committing the crime – in Western New York – not lower Manhattan, their attorneys say. A team of defense lawyers made that request of U.S. Southern District Court Judge Valerie Caproni, who is scheduled in Ap…

ALBANY – Three former top LPCiminelli executives caught up in the federal corruption case involving a major Buffalo Billion contract have asked a judge in Manhattan to dismiss the charges in the case. If denied, Louis Ciminelli, Kevin Schuler and Michael Laipple want the trial to be conducted in a federal courtroom in Buffalo and not more than 300 miles away in lower …

ALBANY – A Manhattan lawyer was confirmed Monday as an associate judge of the state’s highest court, replacing a judge from Erie County who retired. Rowan Wilson, nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was overwhelmingly backed by the Senate across political party lines. It is believed to be the first time in state history that two African-American judges are serving at th…

ALBANY – The head of the state’s mental health agency on Monday found herself defending, again, a plan to close the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca and move its patients and staff to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo first proposed the idea in 2013, and skeptical state lawmakers asked Dr. Anne Marie Sullivan about t…

ALBANY – When Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to Buffalo on Dec. 20, the reason was a secret. His aides were mum. His public schedule listed no reason for the trip. Hours before he arrived in Buffalo, it eventually dribbled out that he was going to Buffalo for a political fundraiser. Five weeks after the event, during a meeting with editors and reporters at The Buffa…

ALBANY – The Cuomo administration’s economic development czar found himself Wednesday defending how the state spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually on job creation efforts when he went before a skeptical group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers. “Why we call success failure is a mystery to me,’’ Howard Zemsky told lawmakers. [Related: Buffalo…

ALBANY – Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, whose state government work included serving as the point person on the state’s largest Buffalo Billion project, on Tuesday filed suit against two state entities to get his legal fees covered in state and federal corruption cases. Kaloyeros, the former president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, was one of eight individuals charged last ye…

ALBANY – The state Legislature Monday gave the second and final passage of a measure permitting the forfeiture of pensions of top state and local government officials who are convicted of felonies related to their duties as public officers. Voters statewide this fall will be given the final say whether the New York constitution should be amended to permit courts to re…

ALBANY – A Buffalo state senator is inviting New York City lawmakers to attend forums he is holding at four upstate locations in an attempt to advance legislation legalizing ride-hailing services in upstate. “These forums offer four different opportunities for our downstate colleagues in the state Legislature to see what we’re dealing with in upstate New York,’…

ALBANY – The rich – and super-rich – are being asked to pay billions of dollars more in state income taxes under a plan Assembly Democrats unveiled Thursday. The higher tax rates – including a 10.32 percent rate for the roughly 100 people with New York taxable incomes over $100 million annually – will bring in about $5.6 billion in additional annual revenues f…