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Politics

Donald Trump revealed Thursday just how serious he is about running for governor this year – $30 million to $50 million serious.As he announced a Jan. 31 trip to Buffalo, his first upstate exploration of a run against Democratic incumbent Andrew M. Cuomo, the Manhattan real estate mogul told The Buffalo News he can more than match the $33 million that the governor’s campai…

ALBANY – The father of the original law banning cellphone use while driving now has a new target: Google Glass.Before the eyeglass-wearing smartphone hits the retail market sometime this year, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, a Brooklyn Democrat, says the devices should be just as illegal for drivers as cellphones.“It’s a distraction for drivers,” Ortiz said, as his new bill intro…

Politics

ALBANY – The women who work in this town are fed up.After a decade of headlines about sexual impropriety, harassment and even alleged rape by male legislators or other state government officials, female legislators say it is time for the male-dominated Legislature to take new steps to show it is serious about protecting female staffers who work for politically powerful mal…

Erie County

To save money, a state agency intends to move dozens of children from the specially built Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca back to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. There, like decades ago, they will share a busy urban campus with adult patients.Parents, state lawmakers and state employees have urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Office of Mental Health to reverse cours…

Education

Robert M. Bennett has helped hire three state education commissioners. He oversaw the toughening of high school graduation requirements and has watched two federal attempts at education reform sweep through the state’s schools. But in his 19 years as one of the state’s top education leaders, it was not until December that he got a taste of just how raucous a public meeting…

ALBANY – More than six months after he stood alongside the Canadian ambassador to announce the end of a bitter dispute over the Peace Bridge Authority, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Friday night vetoed a bill that New York lawmakers say helped resolve the border fight last year.The legislation, which sought to abolish the binational panel that runs the span’s operations, was viewed…

Several area school districts will be able to expand their prekindergarten programs because of state grants that aim to support early education programs for high-needs children, officials said Friday.The Buffalo Public Schools will receive $741,220 for programs for the remainder of the school year. That amount will grow to $1.2 million next year if the district’s program m…

Politics

ALBANY – Billionaire developer Donald Trump on Friday said he will run for governor this year if the state Republican Party can show it can rally behind him.“If we could have a unified party with everybody backing properly, I would do it and I think I’d win,” Trump said in an interview with The Buffalo News. Trump did not define the meaning of a unified party, though he su…

ALBANY – The union representing state troopers went to court Friday to ask a state judge to block release of secret documents that might shed more light into the state’s handling of the Attica prison uprising 43 years ago.The union wants a judge in Wyoming County to keep sealed the final two volumes of the Meyer Report, documents that have been locked in a downtown Buffalo…

A wide spectrum of proposed changes in state laws to hold child protective services caseworkers and their supervisors more accountable will be unveiled this afternoon by State Sen. Tim Kennedy and Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes in response to two recent killings of children in Erie County.Child Protective Services caseworkers across the state would be required to …

Education

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled an election-year grab bag of policy proposals Wednesday in his fourth State of the State, including funding for a genome research consortium between Buffalo and Manhattan, bonuses for top-performing public school teachers, modest tax breaks for property owners and tougher penalties for repeat drunk drivers and teens who text and drive…

ALBANY – There were no signs of Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak at the Capitol today for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address. In the first day of the 2014 session since allegations of sexual harassment began popping out last month, Gabryszak’s colleagues wondered aloud all morning if the lawmaker would appear in Albany for today’s State of the State address. Seven …

Politics

ALBANY – Today is Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s day as he gives his annual State of the State address.“We will have a robust State of the State,” Cuomo said Tuesday.But when it comes to fiscal and policy priorities, members of the Legislature are busy planning their own demands for the coming session, and they diverge from Cuomo on a number of fronts that could present challenges…

Another of Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak’s former communications directors says he has a problem communicating.Kristy Mazurek is now the seventh woman to draft legal papers accusing the Depew Democrat of harassment.Mazurek says that on one of her first trips to Albany in 2008, she was taken to the assemblyman’s apartment. Gabryszak pointed to a flat rooftop and told Mazu…