ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget would result in tax and fee hikes by as much as $4.5 billion if fully implemented in the next couple of years, Senate Republican officials said Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said Cuomo’s 2017 fiscal plan alone would hike motor vehicle fees by $250 million this year. The fee hikes were not discusse…

By Vivian Yee Stepping into a period of intense anxiety over the future of the U.S. health care system and reproductive rights, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York plans to announce Saturday that his administration will require health insurers to cover medically necessary abortions and most forms of contraception at no cost – essentially safeguarding protections currently a…

ALBANY – The top Republican in state government says New York stands poised to benefit from President-elect Donald Trump's ascendancy to the White House. “President-elect Trump is actually a born and bred New Yorker, and that’s something we should be focusing on,’’ said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican who is in Washington with ot…

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his new state budget dubbed them “loophole closures,” “reforms” and “modernizations.” Others call them tax increases. And, like governors before him, Cuomo is relying on hundreds of millions of dollars to help him balance his 2017 budget and pay for spending increases he wants lawmakers to embrace. Add in his call to …

The West Seneca Central School District has reduced its staff by 270 over five years. The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District closed three schools to start this school year. Officials at the two suburban districts in Erie County that receive the most state aid say they're doing their part to trim costs, hold the line on taxes and preserve programming for student…

ALBANY – Will the rich have to pony up more taxes than they were expecting to pay this year in order to help New York State balance its budget? That will be among the thorny subjects for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to negotiate in the coming months. Cuomo proposes a continuation of the current “millionaires’ tax,’’ which was first imposed during a…

By Jesse McKinley ALBANY, N.Y. – Just days before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York will meet with Trump on Wednesday, the first face-to-face meeting between the two men since the election. The meeting will take place at Trump Tower, and the topics will include infrastructure, the Affordable Care Act and “issues of im…

ALBANY – The 2017 state budget, facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, will still provide at least a 4 percent hike in state aid to public schools, free public college tuition for some New Yorkers and big borrowing for infrastructure projects, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed Tuesday. Helping to pay for all the added spending: millionaires who will see the continuation o…

Republicans will offer one of their top judges for re-election this fall after Appellate Division Justice Erin M. Peradotto said Tuesday she will seek a second term in State Supreme Court. Peradotto won her first term in 2003 and was appointed to the Appellate Division’s Fourth Department in 2006 by then-Gov. George E. Pataki. She has been included three times on …

Raw sewage in Scajaquada Creek near the Buffalo History Museum. Manure and pesticides in Chautauqua Lake. Elevated levels of lead in drinking water in schools and homes. Floatable debris polluting beaches and even Canalside. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he wants to address problems like these with a $2 billion proposal to improve water quality in the Buffalo Niaga…

ALBANY – Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa is getting into New York’s ride-hailing debate, urging his fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, to require companies like Uber and Lyft to make a portion of their fleet accessible to people in wheelchairs. Harkin, one of the main authors of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, said transportation gains disabled peo…

ALBANY – Some state lawmakers privately grumbled when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled his Buffalo Billion program five years ago, but they ended up giving the governor everything he wanted. It’s not 2012 any longer. Cuomo faces a bumpier ride getting approval for his second phase of the Buffalo Billion – $500 million for several projects. “Oh, there’s no …

ALBANY – Just two days after a state helicopter ferrying Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s was forced to make an emergency landing, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Friday gave his permission for the State Police to use a no bid process to purchase a new, $12.5 million helicopter. DiNapoli's green light paves the way to purchase a more modern helicopter but it is not the final OK.…

ALBANY – A State Police helicopter transporting Gov. Andrew Cuomo made an emergency landing Wednesday afternoon while the governor was flying between Albany and Manhattan. There were no injuries. The governor uses a Bell 430 helicopter that was purchased during the Pataki administration. The incident occurred just before 4 p.m., said Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzo…

You can’t blame Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a "free college" tuition initiative that sounds like a liberal’s dream but is actually a lot less progressive than it seems. Any rational politician would do the same thing if he wanted to win re-election in a state like New York or still had hopes of galvanizing a progressive coalition for a White House bid. Cuomo is pushing a p…