Government news

The Monroe County Legislature has adopted the 2019 county budget proposed by County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo.

It was approved 17 to 12, backed by the Republican majority on the county legislature.

Dinolfo says the $1.2 billion spending plan cuts the property tax rate for the first time in a decade. The rate drops by 10 cents, to $8.89 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Spectrum News

The former head of key economic development programs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, including the Buffalo Billion, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison by a federal judge Tuesday.

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, who was convicted in July of bid-rigging and other corruption charges, was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan federal court by Judge Valerie Caproni. She also fined him $100,000.

The judge said Kaloyeros can remain free on bail pending appeal because there was a substantial legal question that the appeals court must consider.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure that would have allowed big lottery jackpot winners in New York to remain anonymous.

Bill sponsors wanted New York to follow the lead of a handful of other states that give jackpot winners the option of anonymity so they can avoid being besieged by people seeking money. The bill would have applied to jackpots over $5,000.

Spectrum News

NEW YORK (AP)  The ex-president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute is facing sentencing in the corruption of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" economic redevelopment program.

Alain Kaloyeros, born in Beirut in 1956, was the school's president when the Democratic governor tapped him to help a quest to create high-tech jobs in upstate New York.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Four members of Congress from New York including a Southern Tier Republican are asking the federal Department of Justice to investigate a state agency in charge of protecting people with disabilities from abuse and neglect. 

Republican U.S. representatives Lee Zeldin, Peter King, Elise Stefanik and Tom Reed, (R-Corning),  made their formal request Monday in a letter sent to the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. 

WASHINGTON (AP)  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY),  says legislation boosting federal investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure must include efforts to curb global warming.

Lawmakers have cited infrastructure investment as ripe for bipartisan agreement next year, but Schumer's position could complicate things.

The Trump administration has prioritized undoing the Obama administration's efforts to slow climate change.


Libraries in New York are facing new challenges in the 21st century, but the state isn't funding them well enough to meet them.

That's according to witnesses who testified before the Assembly's Committee on Libraries and Education Technology today.

Mike Neppl is Director of Government Relations and Advocacy for the New York Library Association.

Citing statistics from a Siena poll, he told lawmakers the current funding formula provides libraries tens of millions of dollars less than they need to deliver the services their patrons rely on.

freeimages.com/Ned Horton

Governor Andrew Cuomo could decide this week whether to sign or veto legislation that would require private schools to report suspected child abuse.

The New York State Senate and Assembly both passed bills this year that would close the existing loophole in the law.  Currently, only public schools are required to report alleged abuse to law enforcement.

Federal law for mandated reporting applies to both public and private schools, but it only pertains to suspected abuse committed by parents and guardians, not teachers and other school employees.

Harris Corporation

Harris Corporation has been awarded a nearly  $196 million contract to help build a space-based telescope.  

The work involves the Wide Field Infrared Survey  Telescope, or  WFIRST, for short.

Much of the work is being done by the Harris operations in Rochester, and Senator Chuck Schumer says the federal contract from NASA will help support 160 local jobs.

Laura Abplanalp  is Director of Civil and Commercial Imaging for Harris Space and Intelligence Systems.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the implementation of a law that would allow airports to stop using toxic chemicals that are said to poison local waterways.

PFAs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are found in firefighting foams used at airports across New York, and she says those chemicals can seep into groundwater and possibly contaminate drinking water.

Prior to FAA authorization changes this year, commercial airports were required to use PFAs in these foams, legislation Gillibrand fought to pass that eliminated this requirement.