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WASHINGTON – The Senate Republicans' health care bill will cost New York billions more than the House bill passed last month. That's the consensus that health care experts reached after a close look at the legislation. What concerns analysts most is the Senate's different approach to changing Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor and the lower middle cla…

ALBANY – It’s been more than two years since the Politics Column was last dispatched to the State Capitol to chronicle the proceedings of New York State government. Could it have proven too long an absence, especially when the yellowed electronic card granting access to the Capitol started beeping against the monitor, and attracting the attention of a very serious-l…

WASHINGTON -- A gargantuan tax cut for property taxpayers across upstate New York came one small step closer to reality Thursday as Senate Republicans revealed a health care reform bill that includes a provision that bars the state from charging upstate counties for a share of the cost of Medicaid. The inclusion of the provision in the Senate bill counts as one of Rep.…

Checking up on Niagara Street I was curious to see how construction is coming along on the Niagara Street Gateway project – a $20 million multiphase enhancement plan. Staffers from Niagara District Councilman David A. Rivera's office tell me the project includes a complete street overhaul that will reduce the number of lanes to two from four with a center turn lane…

A hearing to determine if Carl P. Paladino will be removed from the Buffalo School Board is underway in Albany. [See photos from the hearing] Buffalo News education reporter Tiffany Lankes, who will be one of only 15 to 20 spectators in the unprecedented hearing before state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, is covering  the event. You can see her tweets below …

WASHINGTON – A lawyer, a teacher who just moved to the state, a guy who sells running shoes and a Klingon dressed up as Mark Twain walked into a Southern Tier congressional race, and … it's no joke. The lawyer, Eddie Sundquist, 28, of Jamestown, Wednesday became the fourth candidate to announce that he's seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Tom Reed, …

The state and federal probe involving the Grassroots political club took a step further Wednesday, when the president of the East Side organization was subpoenaed. Grassroots President Willie N. Morris acknowledged receiving the subpoena, but declined to answer any further questions. "I'd rather not discuss," he said. "I'm not sure where it's going or what it's about…

WASHINGTON – Summer camps and other organizations that work with kids should have access to the FBI's database of sex offenders when hiring staff, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Wednesday. Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters on a conference call that he is pushing bipartisan legislation that would allow such groups to use the FBI database when doing backgr…

Totally random Buffalo City Hall is but a hop, skip and a jump away from Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. I walk or drive by it about twice a week on my way to meetings, events or just to grab lunch. It can hold up to 7,000 people. A lot of big events are held there – like the annual Buffalo Home Show, one of the largest home shows in the state, and Buffalo Au…

Two Williamsville trustees running unopposed were re-elected Tuesday to the Village Board. Trustees Basil J. Piazza and Deborah Rogers will serve four-year terms on the five-member board. A village resident of 42 years, Piazza has served three consecutive terms on the board since 2005. Prior to that he served two terms as mayor from 1995 until 2003. He is a retired E…

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it will come to Buffalo's aid in trying to figure out why violent crimes are being committed. Buffalo is among 12 cities that will participate in the Department of Justice's new National Public Safety Partnership. The cities will be getting the kind of help they need most, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sai…

Helping others For the last four years, volunteers from Burmese Community Services have been helping many of the 9,000 Burmese refugees and immigrants now living in the City of Buffalo. At a City Hall reception on Monday, the nonprofit organization celebrated its four-year anniversary and was recognized for its work, which includes assisting newcomers with translatio…

Western New York voters will recognize a familiar election scenario this fall: a ballot offering no choice for State Supreme Court justice. The 2017 judicial election was essentially decided a few days ago by Erie County’s Democratic and Republican chairmen when they preliminarily “cross-endorsed” Republican incumbent Erin M. Peradotto of the Appellate Division al…

Buffalo mayoral candidate Taniqua Simmons has been a community activist for the past 25 years, often using others' tragedies to push for social change. Last year, she met with City of Buffalo officials to urge them to replace deteriorating sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood after a 7-month-old baby was killed by a car on Moselle Street. The mother had taken t…