Government news

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says the city has formally begun the national search for a permanent Chief of Police.

Interim Chief Mark Simmons has headed the RPD since September following the retirement of former Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Ciminelli, who was chief since 2014 has accepted a job with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington D.C. and retired last September.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Members of the Rochester Police Accountability Board Alliance spoke out Tuesday against Mayor Lovely Warren's recent proposal for an oversight board.

The alliance, which is a community activist group, has been working with City Council the last four months to develop a police accountability board for the Rochester Police Department. 

Federal shutdown may impact food assistance programs

Jan 7, 2019

If the partial government shutdown continues into February, federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP, and the millions of people who rely on those benefits, may be impacted.

The SNAP program costs nearly $5 billion dollars a month, and there are only$3 billion dollars in reserves according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

Chief Program Officer from Foodlink, Mitch Gruber, says around 120-thousand people in Monroe County rely on the benefits from food stamps.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Legalized marijuana, sports betting and new traffic tolls in Manhattan are just some of the measures Democrats believe they can push through the New York Legislature in a 2019 session that begins this week with their party in control of both chambers and the governor's office for the first time in a decade.

National Ag Safety Database

Farm tractors and other slow-moving vehicles will be allowed to travel a little faster on New York roads under a new law.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation that raises the speed at which slow-moving vehicles can travel from 25 mph to 35 mph. Farm vehicles and construction equipment must have orange triangular signs indicating that they are slow-moving vehicles.

The measure was sponsored by state Sen. Pam Helming, a Republican from Canandaigua in Ontario County, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, a Democrat from Round Lake in Saratoga County.

Jamie Romeo was sworn in Saturday morning for her new role as a member of the New York State Assembly representing the 136th district.

Romeo says she is very privileged and proud to take on the position from Joe Morelle as he moves on to a new role as a member of Congress.

Although she says, it’s not how either of them expected the last year to play out.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  The Republican minority leader in the New York state Senate will miss the start of the 2019 session as he seeks help with alcohol dependency.

John Flanagan of Long Island made the announcement on Friday. Flanagan had been the leader of the Senate until Democrats won the majority in November. He first announced that he had sought help with alcohol back in 2017.

He said he recently recognized the need for additional help and is determined to focus on his health for himself and his family. He is expected back in Albany in a few weeks.

Congressman Joe Morelle has been appointed to the House Rules Committee. The appointment for the Irondequoit Democrat was made on Friday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Morelle says that assignment  allows him to engage on all legislation that moves through the House, so he’ll be able to advocate for the 25th Congressional District on a wide variety of issues.

The former longtime member of the NY State Assembly, who was most recently Majority Leader before he was elected to Congress last November, says he was also a member of the Rules Committee in the Assembly.

Congressman Joe Morelle/Facebook

Representative  Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit), took the oath of office….again, on Thursday.

The new 25th Congressional District representative had actually been sworn in after election day in November, to finish out the remainder of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s (D-Fairport) term. The longtime representative died earlier this year.

On Thursday, Morelle was sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with his wife Mary Beth standing by, for the full two year term that begins now.


County clerks' offices around New York are calling for a higher reimbursement rate from the state to cover increased costs associated with processing Real ID applications at county-run DMV offices.

A Real ID or a passport will be needed if someone wants to travel domestically by air, starting in October 2020.

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello says they’ve processed around 20-thousand applications in just the past few months, and this is causing longer wait-times at DMV offices.