WXXI AM News

Capitol Bureau

The jury could begin deliberating as early as next Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of the former head of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs.

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic College, is on trial along with three upstate developers on bid-rigging charges.

Over the weekend, the prosecution offered Kaloyeros a plea bargain, which he refused.

President Donald Trump is set to announce his choice for a new Supreme Court justice, which he’s said could eventually result in the reversal of the abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.

New York has had legal abortion since 1970, three years before the landmark ruling. But advocates and many Democratic politicians say it’s not enough, and it could become an issue in this year’s governor’s race.

Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new system for state government to respond to requests made under the Freedom of Information law. It would allow citizens and members of the media seeking government documents to go to one online site to request information from multiple state agencies.

The new portal offers a form for document requests. The requests can be sent to up to three state agencies at one time. It also lists the contact information for staff members who handle FOIL requests at 59 state agencies and public authorities.

Karen DeWitt

New York’s union leaders are condemning the U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the right of a worker to not pay union dues. But a newly passed state law might mitigate the effects of Janus v. AFSCME.

The court, in a 5-4 ruling, agreed with Illinois state worker Mark Janus that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was compelled to have $45 a month deducted from his paycheck by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, to pay for collective bargaining even though Janus did not want to be part of the union.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced steps that New York officials will take to help detained immigrant children separated from their families, but he said he isn’t getting a lot of details from the federal government.

Cuomo said state agencies will be providing support services, including health and mental health services, for immigrant children discharged from detention into a family member’s care.

“Whatever they need,” Cuomo said. “Legal services, educational services, counseling.”

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday to begin mapping out a route for a train from major transit hubs in midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia airport.

Cuomo said the project, known as the LaGuardia AirTrain, is an effort to make up for years of neglect in the state’s and the nation’s infrastructure.

“How can you not have a rail train to the city from a New York airport?” Cuomo asked an audience gathered at the World Trade Center. “It’s incomprehensible.”

The 2018 legislative session ended quietly, as Democrats and Republicans in the legislature failed to agree on major issues and exited the Capitol until next January. Although Governor Cuomo is now leaving the door open to calling them back.

Governor Cuomo says there are as many as 700 immigrant children in child care services in New York State, and he’s demanding that state health care professionals have access to them, saying under New York’s constitution, the state is responsible for their welfare.

Lawmakers busily passed bills on the final day of the 2018 legislative session, but as the final evening approached they were unable to reach agreement on many major issues.

Mid morning on the last scheduled day of the legislative session, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan met behind closed doors with Governor Andrew Cuomo, as they tried to resolve differences over a teacher evaluation bill and other topics. Flanagan, who leads the Republicans in the Senate, was asked by reporters whether any deals had been reached.

Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is entering the race for governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo. The long time Democrat is the candidate for a newly formed political movement.

Miner, coming to the race relatively late, and with little money and name recognition outside of upstate New York, says she knows she faces an uphill battle.

“The challenges are clearly there,” said Miner, who said there is also an “opportunity” for a new message in what she says is a “toxic” political atmosphere.

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