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ALBANY – State legislative leaders emerged all smiles from a nearly two-hour closed-door budget session with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday afternoon in advance of the new fiscal year beginning next Tuesday.Their lack of specifics on any topic raised by reporters indicates that the sides are closing in on a final deal.Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said he …

State

ALBANY – In his quest to convince voters that their property taxes are so high because New York has too many local governments, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has made personal appearances across the state in the last couple of weeks, used computers to select residents to call to make his pitch via “town hall” sessions and taken to the airwaves with TV ads.But while railing against …

WASHINGTON – The Affordable Care Act may be increasing access to health care for millions of Americans, but it’s excluding some potential patients from going to Roswell Park Cancer Institute and other top comprehensive cancer care centers.In a survey of 23 of the nation’s top cancer hospitals, the Associated Press found last week that of the 19 that replied, only four said…

ALBANY – In the upside-down world of Albany, one can often tell that sides are getting close to a state budget deal when the leaders’ meeting concludes with a rhetorical blow-up.That happened Friday morning when State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos abruptly left a private meeting with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and complained that problems are a…

New York State had spent little more than a third of its federal Race to the Top education funds as of September, but had “accelerated implementation progress” in all areas of its plan to update standards and accountability measures in the state’s public schools, according to the federal Department of Education.The department on Wednesday released a progress report of New …

ALBANY – It’s an election year so politicians will make some bold claims.On a “town hall’’ telephone conference call Tuesday night with an unknown number of residents in a large geographic area of the state during which he called into question the constituent loyalties of state lawmakers, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo talked of the state’s fiscal restraint since he’s taken office.“…

ALBANY – Day One of the public conference committee process by legislators over their dueling state budget proposals exuded a warm feeling: unity.Lawmakers repeated that they were “not that far apart” and stressed the importance of getting an on-time budget before the 2014 fiscal year begins April 1.The Senate and the Assembly last week passed their own fiscal road maps th…

ALBANY – After days of closed-door talks, the State Senate on Thursday evening finally produced its resolution for how it would structure the 2014 state budget, a plan that is purposely vague in many areas to give lawmakers in the Senate room to negotiate with the Assembly and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the next couple of weeks.The plan calls for an increase of $200 million o…

ALBANY – A range of groups, from medical marijuana advocates to public school organizations, made a last-ditch effort Wednesday to get their issues considered in the 2014 state budget that is slowly coming together at the Capitol.Making the loudest noise at the Capitol Wednesday were groups tied to parents and teachers unions who chanted outside Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s offi…

ALBANY – Assembly Democrats are proposing a $1.1 billion, three-year property tax relief program that restricts the tax breaks to residents with annual household incomes under $200,000 a year.The Assembly plan, which is detailed in its one-house budget bill released late Tuesday night, differs from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s property tax freeze proposal that would be available…

The State Board of Elections voted unanimously Tuesday to investigate alleged campaign finance violations by a controversial fundraising committee closely tied to Buffalo political operative G. Steven Pigeon.Neither the board nor Erie County’s two elections commissioners – who brought the complaint and who attended Tuesday’s Albany session – would comment on the executive …

Hamburg used to get $1.2 million a year in state aid for hosting the video lottery terminals at Hamburg Gaming.The town receives about half that amount now.But state Sen. Mark J. Grisanti is seeking to have the state revert back to the original formula. The Buffalo Republican sent a letter to Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean G. Skelos, asking that the funding be included in …

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s fellow Democrats are rejecting some key aspects of his 2014 budget plan, with Assembly Democrats pushing to limit property tax breaks to more lower- and middle-class residents instead of all New Yorkers regardless of income and seeking a far higher funding commitment by the state to 700 public school districts across New York.The proposals a…

More than 908,590 New Yorkers have completed applications for coverage on the state insurance exchange and 590,639 have enrolled for coverage since the start of the exchange on Oct. 1 last year, the Health Department announced today.More than 70 percent of those who have enrolled were uninsured, the department reported.The exchange, known as NY State of Health, will contin…

Local News

A Manhattan foundation that is trying to curb abortions in New York State is launching a pair of local radio commercials today aimed at State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat who says he has recently evolved to a pro-choice position.The ads, sponsored by the Chiaroscuro Group, hammer at Kennedy for his support of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act. The …