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Testing is an important element in the educational process. Without measuring progress it is impossible to know how well students are doing in any given subject or how well school districts are doing in the critical job of delivering on high-quality education. Therefore, with New York State English language arts assessments underway for most third- through eighth-grader…

This is the Uber Year for Albany. The inexplicably difficult effort to allow ride-hailing services to operate in upstate New York seems at times to dominate a debate that also includes such critical issues as education, health care, ethics, economic development and more. That’s how Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services want it and, frankly, it’s not inappropria…

While Albany’s elected leaders are hashing out the latest state budget, they need to add some relief for businesses plagued by the high costs of workers’ compensation. This is not a new topic. Legislators and the governor can go to their archives and reacquaint themselves with all of the failures to reduce an unnecessary burden on businesses, nonprofits and local go…

Rep. Chris Collins betrayed his district and his state this week with his smarmy and likely unconstitutional proposal to force changes in how New York funds its Medicaid program. He says with a straight face that it was about helping New Yorkers burdened with high property tax rates, but that was a fraud. It was about buying upstate Republican votes for a health care re…

This is a problem that needs to be fixed, now. Because of what must surely be an oversight – a careless oversight – in extending the compact that allowed Seneca casinos in Erie, Niagara and Cattaraugus counties, the Seneca Nation of Indians has announced that it is done making payments to New York State. After paying about $100 million a year, it says a $30 million …

Browsing the internet will remain less than personal as the Senate voted in favor of dismantling landmark privacy protections. Senators, and the tech industry, may somehow see the 50-to-48 vote, largely along party lines, as a move to increase internet privacy, but it is not. The House is expected to follow the Senate’s lead, followed by President Trump signing it int…

Digital devices have become a constant presence in our daily lives, though perhaps a little irksome to some. In that group is Niagara Falls Councilman Kenny Tompkins, who came up with a measure calling for Council members to “refrain from bringing with them activated personal electronic devices of any nature, including cellphones, to any public meetings of this City C…

There’s little doubt the Buffalo Bills need a new practice field – or at least more practice – but given how much money taxpayers already shell out for the team, there is no reason they should be on the hook for the proposed 3-acre, outdoor field. The additional tax breaks, approved Friday by the Erie County Legislature, should have been a nonstarter. The Bills ar…

In yet another unmistakable sign that the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is coming into its own, UBMD Physicians’ Group is beginning to move into the Conventus building. The goal of having physicians, researchers and medical students all working together is taking shape. The result should further solidify the Medical Campus as an integral part of the area’s economic…

When politics and the law collide, sparks fly. It happened when former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicted then-leaders of the state Assembly and Senate and it’s happening again as the state attorney general takes aim at a former senator from Western New York and his successor. Sen. Robert G. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, and his once-powerful predecessor in office, Georg…

Whatever is amiss in the City of Tonawanda that creates an atmosphere in which the mayor and a businessman hurl curses at each other needs to stop. Whether it’s something in the atmosphere or the drinking water, an antidote to this verbal poison has to be administered. As recently reported in The News, Mayor Rick Davis and businessman Michael Hacikyan engaged in a ver…

New York State farmers face more pressure than ever and state and federal leaders have the ability to do something about it. One relatively easy way to help farmers is for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislators to include the New York Farm to Food Bank Tax Credit bill in the final state budget. The bill gives New York farmers a refundable tax credit up to $5,000 …

Robert Wilmers, the chairman and CEO of M&T Bank, is known as a sensible man on subjects regarding his profession, including the role of government regulation. So it’s worth paying attention to his observations about Washington’s broadly drawn oversight of the nation’s banks. His point, repeatedly made, is that regulations that make sense for megabanks are pun…

Here’s how Rep. Chris Collins thinks he should represent his district in Washington: by engineering a maneuver that upends decades of policy with no thought to consequences. His amendment, to be voted on today, would absolve counties of all Medicaid costs in just two years and, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, create a $2.3 billion hole in the health care program for t…

Here’s the test for any Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act: Does it do what President Trump promised in January, only days before he was inaugurated? Specifically: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said then. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happ…