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ALBANY – The Seneca Nation’s decision this week to stop paying the state more than $100 million a year in casino revenue sharing caught leaders in Albany completely off guard. But on the Seneca territories, more than 300 miles away, tribal officials have known for months that this day was coming. Seneca officials did not raise a grievance with the state in 2013 w…

ALBANY – The Seneca Nation’s decision this week to stop paying the state more than $100 million a year in casino revenue sharing caught leaders in Albany completely off guard. But on the Seneca territories, more than 300 miles away, tribal officials have known for months that this day was coming. Seneca officials did not raise a grievance with the state in 2013 w…

For the more than quarter century that George D. Maziarz reigned supreme over Niagara County Republican politics, paying for elections never posed a problem for his brimming campaign treasury. Indeed, during the two years now scrutinized by state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the former state senator from Newfane regularly checked in with around three-quarters …

The Seneca Nation of Indians is looking to make financial agreements directly with the three cities that host its casinos, President Todd Gates said Thursday. "Our obligation to the state ended," Gates said during a news conference on the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus territory. "This will be something new." The Seneca leader contends that the Senecas' 2002 gamblin…

State Sen. Robert G. Ortt pleaded not guilty to three felony counts in an Albany courtroom Thursday after his Wednesday indictment on election law violations by state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. The North Tonawanda Republican appeared in Albany County Court, one day after a grand jury indicted him and former Sen. George D. Maziarz as part of Schneiderman’s …

WASHINGTON – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sounds as if he is in a panic over the bill House Republicans plan to vote on Thursday to repeal and replace Obamacare. And to hear health professionals and policy wonks in the state tell it, he has plenty of reason to panic. The bill would force billions of dollars of additional annual costs onto the state. Thanks to an amendment …

ALBANY – The Seneca Nation of Indians is ending all casino payments to the state government effective next week, setting up a confrontation with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The decision stops the flow of more than $110 million a year to Albany, a portion of which then goes to host casino communities in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. The Senecas say they are abidin…

ALBANY – As efforts to legalize ride hailing in upstate intensify, one key question remains: Who would regulate transportation companies like Uber if New York permits their services? Localities now regulate taxi and liveries. But will the state be the sole entity to create and enforce regulations affecting the operations of firms like Uber and Lyft in upstate and on L…

ALBANY –  Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor President Trump fired, announced today he is joining the staff of the law school at New York University. “This is one way I plan to keep working hard on important issues I care about,’’ Bharara posted on his Twitter account Tuesday morning. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to continue addressing the issues…

Large numbers of people live in "transit deserts" in Buffalo and other upstate cities, where ride-hailing services could fill gaps in the public-transit network because carless residents must walk too far or wait too long for a bus, according to a report that Uber and the state conference of the NAACP plan to unveil Monday. They are releasing the report as ride-hailing …

ALBANY – Despite the wrangling at the Capitol, in excess of 90 percent of the state’s upcoming $160 billion budget already has been decided. It wasn’t because of keen negotiating by the governor or lawmakers, but the reality that so much of the state’s spending is largely on auto pilot, whether for Medicaid or state payroll. But with two weeks to go before th…

ALBANY – One Democrat blasting other Democrats for lining up with "Trump Republicans" can set off a firestorm. The ever-simmering venom between two dueling groups of Democrats in the state Senate played out in public Wednesday in a series of stinging verbal assaults during debate over an otherwise symbolic, non-binding budget resolution. During one heated moment, S…

College basketball fans are confronting two things in Buffalo that wouldn't rise to the top of anyone's travel wish list: a winter storm and no ride-hailing service. Fans arriving here for this week's NCAA tournament games likely knew snow could hit Buffalo in March. But they might be surprised when they fire up their Uber or Lyft apps and they can't get service. …

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he wasn’t really aware of the controversy surrounding the firing of Preet Bharara as U.S. Attorney and therefore had no comment. “I didn’t follow the situation. There’s a transition from one administration to the next, but beyond that I haven’t followed it,’’ Cuomo said. It was Cuomo's first public comments on t…

ALBANY – Both houses of the Legislature will approve separate state budget plans this week permitting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to spend $500 million on a new round of Buffalo Billion economic development programs in Western New York. But while neither the Senate nor Assembly is calling for a direct say in how state money is spent by Cuomo, the houses are demanding what la…