WXXI AM News

albany

State lawmakers to pick successor to attorney general

May 22, 2018

ALBANY — The state Legislature was poised to vote for the temporary successor to fill the attorney general's position Tuesday, two weeks after Erie Schneiderman suddenly resigned amid allegations he physically abused four women he dated.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced that the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Republican-led Senate intend to cast a joint ballot starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Under state law, the full Legislature is required to vote on the attorney general's replacement should the job become vacant.

We're at The Little Theatre, talking state business with WXXI's Capitol Bureau chief, Karen DeWitt. We hear from Karen about her reporting career, and we discuss how the relationship between journalists and politicians has changed.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  The threat of a government shutdown loomed Sunday as New York lawmakers struggled to strike deals on a budget, an impasse that harkened back to Albany's tradition of dysfunction that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo had pledged to end. 

Outstanding issues included education spending, charter schools and juvenile justice reform. The budget was supposed to be approved by Saturday, the start of a new fiscal year. Lawmakers said they could start voting on the more than $150 billion spending plan on Monday. 

Should New York State lawmakers be granted a pay raise? The question is not as simple as it may seem.

State lawmakers have not received a salary increase since 1999, and now an Albany commission is considering a proposal to raise their pay by up to 47%. If the salary increase were approved, the base pay of $79,500 a year for legislators would increase to about $113,000 a year, if the rising consumer price index over the past 17 years is factored in.

The idea for the increase has been met with harsh criticism, especially after the wave of corruption charges against dozens of senators and Assembly members. But, government reform groups are in favor of the pay raise, as long as it is accompanied by reforms -- including banning or severely restricting outside income (which factored into the corruption convictions of two former legislative leaders), and eliminating extra stipends for committee chairs and leadership posts. We break down the details with our guests:

fcpablog.com

ALBANY (AP) An Albany man has an unusual idea for generating economic activity off of the city's long history of ethically challenged lawmakers. He wants to open a museum of political corruption.

Bruce Roter envisions a museum that would not only detail Albany's many political scandals but also offer some possible solutions to corruption.

ALBANY (AP) The Republican lawmakers who control the New York state Senate are returning to Albany to discuss their priorities for the upcoming year.

The chamber's GOP members plan to gather on Tuesday to discuss the challenges and priorities for the legislative session, which gets underway in January.

Sen. John Flanagan of Long Island leads the Senate Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the chamber.

It’s the final week of what’s been another topsy-turvy legislative session in Albany. We’ll start the hour by checking in with WXXI Albany bureau correspondent Karen DeWitt for the latest developments from the capitol.

Then we’ll talk about the second annual Genesee River Basin Summit, which Genesee RiverWatch is hosting on Wednesday. It’s a gathering of groups interested in improving the water quality of the river and the surrounding area that depends on it. We'll discuss what will be discussed at the summit with:

Karen DeWitt/WXXI

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York's Legislature is starting its six-month session with the Senate and Assembly by convening to choose leaders.

The Assembly's minority Republicans, who gathered Tuesday for the swearing in of four new legislators, now count 44 members in that 150-seat chamber and promise to represent constituents and offer good ideas for the state, regardless of who gets credit.

In this hour, Governor Cuomo is under heavy scrutiny after the New York Times published a story about his administration's efforts to rein in the Moreland Commission. Cuomo formed the commission last year to go after public corruption, and he boasted that it was a qualified, independent commission with no restrictions. Turns out the govenror's office tried to stop the commission whenever it got close to Cuomo. We talk to GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, we hear from legislative leaders, and our Karen DeWitt checks in from Albany.