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Tom Precious


Roswell Park Cancer Institute, struggling to compete, is poised to become the nation's premier cancer hospital in the coming years if a Pataki administration proposal formally unveiled Tuesday becomes law, its supporters say.Troubled by fewer patients coming through its doors amid rising costs, a plan to turn the hospital into a so-called public benefit corporation will en…

The chancellor of the State University of New York said Monday he doesn't expect there will be a tuition increase this fall at the system's colleges and universities.In a speech to a group of mayors of small cities and villages that are home to SUNY campuses, John W. Ryan said it is likely the approximately $140 million Gov. Pataki proposed to cut from the SUNY budget will…

Moving from plans to privatize Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Pataki administration has struck a deal with state labor unions to let the facility operate more independently as a quasi-public entity.Supporters say the arrangement would ensure Roswell Park's survival by making it more competitive in the changing health-care industry.The agreement would set up the facilit…

The State Legislature Thursday gave final approval to a bill requiring that at least one-quarter of the trustees to the State University of New York be alumni of the system.It is unclear whether Gov. Pataki will sign the bill. In the past, he has been criticized for appointing individuals with little public university experience to the SUNY panel.A Pataki spokesman, Michae…

School taxes soared across the state at three times the inflation rate over the past 10 years, a level that should force sweeping property tax reforms this year, the state's top business lobbying group said Wednesday.In 26 Western New York communities, the average increase in school taxes on a per-student basis rose more than 100 percent from 1985 to 1995. That compares to…

Lobbying over the state's Indian tax policies intensified Tuesday as a group of state and national retail interests joined together to try to block the Pataki administration's proposal to legalize tax-free sales of cigarettes and gasoline on reservations.Formation of the coalition clearly signals that the groups, which helped finance Pataki's 1994 campaign, are not about t…

State and local government retirees would get automatic cost-of-living adjustments if New York's massive pension fund has a good year on Wall Street under legislation pushed by state Comptroller H. Carl McCall."We get a little sick and tired of having to come every year to the Legislature begging. This is a good plan, and it won't cost taxpayers a dime," said Arthur Sulliv…

A few hours after a conceptual deal was struck on extending the state's rent-control laws, a top lobbyist for the AFL-CIO scurried about the Capitol on Monday morning distributing invitations to lawmakers for an end-of-session party.But the gathering next week may be premature, lobbyists and lawmakers later acknowledged with a series of sighs. While rent control was consid…

In a David and Goliath rematch, Erie County and Buffalo on Friday asked the federal government to block the massive merger of Nynex and Bell Atlantic to become the nation's second-largest phone company.The city and county urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to force the two phone companies to lower basic residential rates in Western New York -- among the natio…

After two years of lobbying by cancer survivors, physicians and other health care advocates, Gov. Pataki Wednesday proposed sweeping legislation to require insurers to cover experimental treatments in certain cases.Insisting his plan balances patient protections with insurance company financial interests, Pataki called for independent panels to review insurance company dec…

Trade groups from across the nation have begun passing up Buffalo as a convention destination because of soaring air fares.In the last year, Buffalo has lost four conventions -- a loss of $1.6 million in revenue and 2,000 visitors -- by groups that could fly their members to other U.S. cities for less, according to the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau.The los…

Efforts by Gov. Pataki to administratively allow Indian nations to sell tax-free cigarettes and gasoline products -- which they are doing anyway -- remain technically blocked by a court order.However, State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Harris on Monday withheld his ruling on whether the entire state's sales-tax collections -- both on and off Indian reservations -- should e…

If New York's lawmakers were judged by the number of laws they make -- as their job title might suggest -- 1997 is a fruitless year in the State Legislature."It's been a moribund session," said Barbara Bartolletti, a lobbyist with the New York League of Women Voters, which has seen its list of government reform measures move nowhere this session. "They are literally embarr…

In a moving speech to lawmakers and disabled onlookers in the State Capitol, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly revealed Wednesday that his infant son has cerebral palsy."I wasn't going to talk about it," said Kelly, who was in Albany for a celebration of his football career organized by Gov. Pataki and legislators.But after speaking to a man in a wheelchair who wa…

Gov. Pataki said Wednesday that the state will not help fund improvements to Rich Stadium without guarantees that the Bills won't be moving any time soon."If we're going to make a significant commitment, we have to, in return, get a representation that, in fact, they're going to stay," Pataki said.He did not say how long a commitment the state is seeking from Bills' owner …