News Behind the Constitution

The New York State Constitution has an effect on our everyday lives that often creates some of the most dysfunctional situations in New York State. Below you will find some examples of the worst examples of New York’s dysfunction ripped from the headlines with an explanation of why the dysfunction relates to the New York State Constitution with a link for you to learn more about the specific topic.

Opinion Editorial:

Buffalo News
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
For those who thought California was good only for sunshine and earthquakes, consider this: Political reform in the nation’s largest state is turning it from an economic basket case into a model of democracy and progress. That’s fine for...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York One (NY1) News
Zack Fink
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Samuels: "If you want to bring reform to Albany, change the culture, you have to lead. You have to lead by example. He has not done that."
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New York Times
Jeff Sommer
Monday, June 17, 2013
In 1953, when “How to Marry a Millionaire” was in movie theaters, $1 million bought the equivalent of $8.7 million today. Now $1 million won’t even buy an average Manhattan apartment or come remotely close to paying the average salary of an N.B.A. basketball player.Still, $1 million is more money than 9 in 10 American families possess. It may no longer be a symbol of boundless wealth, but as a retirement nest egg, $1 million is relatively big. It may seem like a lot to live on.But in many ways, it’s not.Inflation isn’t the only thing that’s whittled down the $1 million. The topsy-turvy world of today’s financial markets — particularly, the still-ultralow interest rates in the bond market — is upending what many people thought they understood about how to pay for life after work.“We’re facing a crisis right now, and it’s going to get worse,” said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “Most people haven’t saved nearly enough, not even people who have put away $1 million.”For people close to retirement, the problem is acute. The conventional financial advice is that the older you get, the more you should put into bonds, which are widely considered safer than stocks. But consider this bleak picture: A typical 65-year-old couple with $1 million in tax-free municipal bonds want to retire. They plan to withdraw 4 percent of their savings a year — a common, rule-of-thumb drawdown. But under current conditions, if they spend that $40,000 a year, adjusted for inflation, there is a 72 percent probability that they will run through their bond portfolio before they die.Suddenly, that risk-free bond portfolio is looking risky. “The probabilities are remarkably grim for retirees who insist on holding only bonds in the belief that they are safe,” says Seth J. Masters, the chief investment officer of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, a Manhattan-based firm, which ran these projections for Sunday Business. “Because we live in this world we tend to think of it as ‘normal,’ but from the standpoint of financial market history, it’s not normal at all,” Mr. Masters said. “And that’s very clear when you look at fixed-income returns.”Several rounds of intervention by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, aimed at stimulating a moribund economy, have helped to suppress rates, and so has low inflation. Low rates have led to cheaper mortgages and credit cards, helping to balance family budgets.But for savers, low rates have been a trial. The fundamental problem is that benchmark Treasury yields have been well below 4 percent since early in the financial crisis. That creates brutal math: if your portfolio’s income is below 4 percent, you can’t withdraw 4 percent annually, and add inflation adjustments, without depleting that portfolio over time.And with rising life expectancies, many people will have a lot of time: the average 65-year-old woman today can be expected to live to 86, a man to 84. One out of 10 people who are 65 today will live past 95, according to projections from the Social Security Administration.“If you’re invested only in bonds and you’re withdrawing 4 percent, plus inflation, your portfolio will decline,” said Maria A. Bruno, senior investment analyst at Vanguard. “That’s why we recommend that most people hold some equities. And why it’s important to be flexible.” In some years, investors may need to withdraw less than 4 percent, she said, and in some years they can take more.Clearly, such flexibility depends on individual circumstances. Billionaires can afford to be very flexible: just 2 percent of a $1 billion portfolio is still $20 million. With economizing, even a big spender should be able to scrape by on that. But $20,000 — the cash flow from a $1 million portfolio at 2 percent — won’t take you very far in the United States today.And if you’re not close to being a millionaire — if you’re starting, say, with $10,000 in financial assets — you’ve got very little flexibility indeed. Yet $10,890 is the median financial net worth of an American household today, according to calculations by Edward N. Wolff, an economics professor at New York University. (He bases this estimate on 2010 Federal Reserve data, which he has updated for Sunday Business according to changes in relevant market indexes.)A millionaire household lives in elite territory, even if it no longer seems truly rich. Including a home in the calculations, such a family ranks in the top 10.1 percent of all households in the United States, according to Professor Wolff’s estimates. Excluding the value of a home, a net worth of $1 million puts a household in the top 8.1 percent. Yet even such families may have difficulty maintaining their standard of living in retirement.“The bottom line is that people at nearly all levels of the income distribution have undersaved,” Professor Wolff said. “Social Security is going to be a major, and maybe primary, source of income for people, even for some of those close to the top.”Professor Munnell said that in addition to relying on Social Security, which she called “absolutely crucial, even for people with $1 million,” other options include saving more, spending less, working longer and tapping home equity for living expenses. “There aren’t that many levers we can use,” she said. “We have to consider them all.”THE bond market has always been a forbidding place for outsiders, but making some sense of it is important for people who rely on bond income.Low bond yields have been a nightmare for many investors, but that’s not the only issue. Today’s market rates aren’t stable. Steve Huber, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price, said, “Current yields are an anomaly when you consider where rates have been over the last decade or more.”Rates are expected to rise. While that will eventually mean more income for bond buyers, it will create a host of problems. Already, the market has been rattled by speculation that after years of big bond-buying, the Fed may soon begin to taper its appetite. In May, a half-point climb in the yield of 10-year Treasury notes produced the biggest monthly bond market losses in nine years. (Yields and prices move in opposite directions.) Yet yields remain extraordinarily low on a historical basis. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note is just under 2.2 percent, compared with more than 6.5 percent, on average, since 1962, according to quarterly Bloomberg data.And bond investing is likely to remain challenging for years to come. Investors may face a double-whammy — low yields now and the prospect of significant losses as yields rise. On Friday, after the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate edged up to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent, yields rose further, amid uncertainty about the Fed’s intentions.Despite this market instability, bonds tend to be the investment of choice as people retire, because they throw off steady income. But as the projections from Bernstein Global Wealth Management suggest, over-reliance on bonds leads to financial quandaries.These projections, based on proprietary market and economic forecasts and portfolio analyses, as well as on standard actuarial and tax data, estimate future probabilities for investors. That’s a quixotic task at best, intended to illustrate possible outcomes rather than to provide precise forecasts, said Mr. Masters at Bernstein.Still, they are worrisome. Consider again the 65-year-old couple who are starting to draw down $1 million in savings this year: if they withdrew 3 percent, or $30,000, a year, rather than that standard rate of 4 percent, inflation-adjusted, there is still a one-in-three chance that they will outlive their money, under current market conditions.There are ways to improve these outcomes, but they have their own hazards. Adding stocks to a portfolio is an obvious counterbalance. And there is now a broad consensus among asset managers and academics that stocks have an unusually high likelihood of outperforming bonds over the next decade. That was the finding of a recent study by two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.The Bernstein projections concur that adding stocks to a portfolio reduces the risk of outliving your savings. But it also increases the risk of big losses.Assume, for example, a diversified portfolio that is 80 percent invested in stocks and 20 percent in bonds — a much higher stock-to-bond ratio than advisers typically suggest for someone near retirement. In that situation, under current market conditions and at a 4 percent withdrawal rate, the probability of running out of money drops to 14 percent. That’s mainly because of higher expected returns for stocks. At a 3 percent withdrawal rate, the probability of outliving the portfolio is only 4 percent.But then stock market risk comes into play. Over the long term, stocks tend to outperform bonds, but typically fluctuate much more wildly. There’s a good chance that at some point, stock investments will produce major losses that many people simply can’t tolerate.“We find that people tend to think of losses in their portfolios based on the peak value they’ve ever had,” Mr. Masters said. So Bernstein calculates the probability of what it calls a “peak-to-trough loss” of at least 20 percent in its sample portfolios.For those with an 80/20 mix of stocks and bonds, it found a 60 percent probability of such a loss over the investors’ lifetime. And, of course, some market declines far exceed 20 percent.“Large losses may not be something that people are willing to live with, even if they are associated with higher returns over the long term,” Mr. Masters said. “Which is why we’d recommend holding some stocks, but not as much as 80 percent, for most people.”Bonds would fare better in an economic environment more typical of the past, with higher interest rates, among other factors, Bernstein projections show. Should those conditions return one day, investment choices would be less stark. Under “normal” conditions, Bernstein projects, at a 4 percent withdrawal rate, inflation-adjusted, a portfolio 100 percent invested in bonds would have a 38 percent chance of running out in an investor’s lifetime; at a 3 percent withdrawal rate, the chances drop to 14 percent.Other investment companies modeling similar problems come up with different numbers, although the broad implications are reasonably close. “We’re operating in the same ballpark,” said Ms. Bruno at Vanguard.T. Rowe Price projections — which don’t differentiate between current conditions and a historically normal environment — include different stock and bond indexes, and don’t include the effect of taxes. That outlook finds that a 65-year-old couple who invested entirely in bonds have a 21 percent chance of outliving their portfolio. That’s much more favorable than the Bernstein projections.Still, Jim Tzitzouris, quantitative analyst at the asset allocation group of T. Rowe Price, said, “In the current environment, it’s worth being quite concerned about the effects of low interest rates on a retirement portfolio.”ASIDE from recalibrating a portfolio, what can be done to improve a would-be retiree’s financial situation? One answer is to work longer and retire later. Yet many people can’t do that, often because they are physically unable to do so or can no longer find a suitable job.Still, the expectation of working longer seems to be the trend. An annual survey for the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that in 1991, only 11 percent of workers expected to retire after age 65, while this year, 36 percent said they would retire after 65 — and 7 percent said they didn’t plan to retire at all.Working longer improves your financial prospects, and one reason is morbid: you won’t have as long to live on your savings.Working longer helps in a happier way, too. Professor Munnell notes that by delaying retirement, monthly Social Security benefits rise substantially. For example, if you delay claiming benefits past what the government calls your “full” retirement age — 66, for people retiring this year — your monthly benefits increase by 8 percent a yearuntil you reach 70.Compared with current bond yields, that’s a fabulous rate of return, for people who can afford to delay starting the Social Security income stream, she said.It’s also a much better return than a commercially available annuity will provide. Vanguard estimates that a basic fixed annuity that ends at death will produce an annual inflation-adjusted payout of only 3.7 percent if bought today for a healthy 65-year-old couple. (But the money is definitely gone when they die; there would be no surplus to pass on, as there could be in an investment portfolio.)Paying close attention to Social Security benefits is likely to be meaningful for retirees at nearly all income levels, Professor Wolff said. “Even at the millionaire level, for most people, Social Security is going to be very important.”The maximum Social Security benefit for a retiree at 66 this year is $31,000 — about the equivalent of drawing down 3 percent a year on a portfolio of $1 million.Still, even $61,000 or $71,000 a year — the combined Social Security and cash flow from the $1 million portfolio — isn’t likely to be enough for most people who have grown accustomed to living on $150,000 or more a year. And $150,000 is the median income of a typical household in the top 10 percent, roughly the ranking of a family with $1 million in net assets, Professor Wolff says.Without another source of income, perhaps from traditional pensions from either or both spouses, he adds, a household like this won’t come close to replacing 80 percent of its pre-retirement income — often considered an acceptable target level.And, he says, if Social Security is important for the relatively affluent, it’s all the more so for those with less income and wealth, especially with the decline of traditional pensions. “Social Security needs to be strengthened, not cut,” he says.Professor Munnell says this might be accomplished simply by raising the maximum taxable income level for Social Security payroll taxes. Currently, that level is $113,700. “Social Security has done its job and it can easily be made solvent in the future,” she said.There are a few steps that people can take on their own, she said. “When you’re younger, and have a lot of human capital, you can save more and put a lot of the savings into stocks,” she said. And then you can gradually shift into bonds as you age, fully understanding that the bond income may be quite limited. “When you’re in your 50s,” she continued, “you can try to save as much as you can, and try not to get accustomed to a lifestyle that you won’t be able to afford later on.”You can also try to pay off your mortgage, so you have the option of tapping home equity if you need to supplement your income later. And, she suggested, if you’re lucky you’ll find work that you like and can stick with for a long time — until 70, at least.That might not be the way you imagined your life. But the numbers suggest that even if you’re a millionaire, you might have to start.
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Pensions
Pensions

Capital Confidential
Jimmy Vielkind
Thursday, June 13, 2013
As the legislative session closes, some advocates are wondering whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo is wholly committed to pushing through some of the marquee agenda items he introduced in the last two weeks. 
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Daily News
Bill Hammond
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The neutered ethics watchdog was Silver's idea, so he bears responsibility for its profound failures.
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Ethics
Ethics

New York Times
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who promised to clean up state government in his 2010 campaign, has now become so alarmed by the latest scandals in Albany that he has issued a threat lawmakers ought to take seriously.
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New York Times
Gail Collins
Sunday, May 12, 2013
LET’S talk about what makes a delinquent state legislature. I know it’s been on your mind.
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Daily News
Celeste Katz
Monday, April 8, 2013
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has a simple solution to the scandals that have rocked Albany in recent days: Try electing more honest people.
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Ethics
Ethics

Times Union
James Odato
Monday, April 8, 2013
 A month before IDC leader Jeffrey Klein was elected, Republican Elections Attorney Ciampoli won a novel election law case that could have led to one reform: closing a glaring loophole used by a candidate who collects funds for a run at a high...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Daily News
Friday, April 5, 2013
“People do stupid things, frankly. People do illegal things. People in power abuse power. It’s part of the human condition,” the [Cuomo] said, employing a cliche to divert attention from the seamy truth that surrounds him.  It...
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Ethics
Ethics

New York Times
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The corruption scandal that blew up in Albany this week is the equivalent of a Russian nesting doll: a federal prosecutor accusing a state senator of conspiring with county party bosses and a city councilman to buy a spot on a city ballot and to steer...
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Ethics
Ethics

New York Times
Editorial Board
Saturday, March 30, 2013
 The President's plan to lower the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients is a bad idea and a distraction from the real problems of Social Security.
The President's plan to lower the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security payments fails to recognize that Americans, many without pensions or sufficient personal savings, are increasingly dependent on Social Security in retirement.  Pension reform is part of the answer.
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Pensions
Pensions

Poughkeepsie Journal
Friday, March 15, 2013
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rattled off important objectives in his bid to change New York’s campaign laws, calling for “transparency, disclosure, public finance, limits.”  He’s right on three out of four accounts, though he...
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City & State
Gerald Benjamin
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The brief dustup in the Judiciary Committee regarding the nomination of Jenny Rivera for the Court of Appeals is just the latest piece of evidence that Republicans, with their Independent Democrat coalition partners, arepresiding in the Senate but...
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New York Times
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
THE specter of financial collapse looms over New York State’s cities. For some the collapse is imminent, for others a few years off. Instead of confronting these realities, Gov.Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed state budget avoids them.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
In times of economic strife, the directive given is usually “Do more with less.” When it comes to school districts however, it’s do less with even less.
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Education
Education

Gotham Gazette
Gerald Benjamin
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Politicians weigh means against ends every day. It’s part of the job description. In a masterful film, Steven Speilberg showed us how Lincoln balanced means and ends as he sought the abolition of slavery. The message: bend the rules, but don’...
This clip highlights that the means by which Governor Cuomo is making a dysfunctional government function rather than reforming it.  It is critical of the means by which the Governor has achieved these ends, specifically the continuance of closed door governance, which lacks transparency, and the constitutional issue of the inappropriate use of the message of necessity.
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Bloomberg Businessweek
Josh Barro
Monday, January 28, 2013
Cuomo's "Stable Rate Pension Contribution Option" allows local government to postpone pension contributions, but provides no long-term savings.  This is a poor substitute for real pension reform.
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Pensions
Pensions

Albany Times Union
Sean Eldridge
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Statewide campaign finance reform with small-donor matching funds would kindle new excitement and renewed trust in the political process by ensuring that it is open to all, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. It would also lead to better policy...
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Newsday
Editorial
Friday, January 25, 2013
New York State's electoral redistricting process is a disgrace, and the current political boundaries it created are an insult to voters. But a constitutional amendment advertised as the remedy -- and likely to be approved for a voter referendum...
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New York Times
Editorial Board
Friday, January 25, 2013
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York presented an extra-lean state budget this week, his third conservative spending plan since taking office in 2011. The total outlays for fiscal year 2013-14, including federal funds to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy, will be...
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Budget
Budget

Times Union
Editorial
Thursday, January 24, 2013
 Our opinion: A proposed constitutional amendment on redistricting would leave the Legislature as in control of the process as it is now. Voters should reject it. 
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New York Times
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Cuomo's budget includes “Stable Rate Pension Contribution Option” provision, allowing local officials to stretch pension obligations, paying less now but almost certainly more later on.  The mayor of Syracuse describes this as...
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Pensions
Pensions

Times Union
Eliot Spitzer
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
New York should push for the enactment of a financial-transfer tax at the federal level. Washington should keep two-thirds of the revenue to anchor necessary investments at the federal level, but send one-third back to the states in a literal revenue-...
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Education
Education

New York Times
Editorial
Monday, January 21, 2013
 If New Yorkers need another good reason to support a major cleanup of their state’s scandalously lax campaign finance laws, they need only look at the latest filing from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  
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Post Star
Editorial
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo got your attention this week. We’re pretty certain of that.We’re hoping the hotly debated, highly volatile issue of gun rights, which has worked so many of our readers into a blind rage, will also make you mad as hell...
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New York Times
Editorial
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
 The broad gun control bill approved Tuesday by the New York Legislature substantially strengthens the state’s gun control laws and, if vigorously enforced, could make New York one of the toughest places in the country to buy, sell...
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New York Times
Helaine Olen
Saturday, January 12, 2013
 THE odds are good that you haven’t yet given up on your New Year’s resolutions and that one of them is to swear off those expensive cappuccinos and save money for your old age. That’s a typical suggestion from finance gurus, who...
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New York Times
Editorial
Saturday, January 12, 2013
 At the end of last year, just shy of the 11th hour in the fiscal cliff negotiations, President Obama made an offer that included a Republican-backed idea to cut spending by lowering the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits. The...
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New York Times
Editorial
Friday, January 11, 2013
 When the United States Supreme Court issued its flawed 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, unleashing millions of dollars in corporate spending on political campaigns, there seemed to be one small prescription for relief. Justice Anthony...
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New York Times
Editorial
Saturday, September 22, 2012
When you think of California as a trendsetter, retirement policy is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but that may soon change. 
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New York Times
Editorial
Friday, August 31, 2012
 Twice in August, judges declared unconstitutional or otherwise rejected state laws because, they said, the laws ran afoul of a provision in the New York State Constitution known as home rule. Both decisions involved transportation, and both could...
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Home Rule
Home Rule

Newsday
Editorial
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
 For the first time, lobbyists working to influence legislation in New York State will have to publicly disclose where their money comes from. That's a triumph for transparency and an important first in the nation at a time when the...
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Ethics
Ethics

Times Union
Richard Kirsch
Thursday, August 2, 2012
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a late and reluctant supporter of key measures to advance a more fair economy in New York. He fought extending the millionaire's tax, only supporting a watered-down version when Occupy Albany tagged him as "...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Observer
Editorial Board
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
 Andrew Cuomo has been governor of New York for less than two years, and he already has achieved successes that some two-termers never managed. He has taken important steps toward a much-needed overhaul of the state’s pension and benefit...
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Rye Patch
George Latimer
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
As a member of the New York State Assembly, it should be clear to all that things have gotten better over the last two years in state government, under the strong leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Two on-time state budgets, balanced without new taxes...
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New York Times
Saturday, July 21, 2012
 I WORK on retirement policy, so friends often want to talk about their own retirement plans and prospects. While I am happy to have these conversations, my friends usually walk away feeling worse — for good reason.   
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New York Times
Editorial
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
 When Andrew Cuomo was running for governor of New York in 2010, he printed eight books describing his priorities. Many were excellent ideas, including campaign finance reform, ethics reform, balancing the budget, ending pay-to-play, getting...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Times
Billy Easton
Friday, May 25, 2012
IN most states, top-ranked high school seniors are shoo-ins to attend their local state universities. But that’s not how it goes in New York these days. In one recent, glaring case, the valedictorian of a rural school district outside Rochester was...
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Education
Education

New York Times
Billy Easton
Friday, May 25, 2012
IN most states, top-ranked high school seniors are shoo-ins to attend their local state universities. But that’s not how it goes in New York these days. In one recent, glaring case, the valedictorian of a rural school district outside Rochester was...
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Education
Education

Democrat and Chronicle
Editorial Board
Sunday, May 20, 2012
 One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature first-year successes, enactment of same-sex marriage legislation, is now being challenged in court. If it is reversed, it will be owing largely to the governor’s signature first-term shortcoming: His...
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Times Union
Saturday, May 19, 2012
 I've seen this movie before ... there's like a whole little deja vu going on for me," Gov. Andrew Cuomo quipped last month when asked by reporters whether he would run for president in 2016 — invoking the memory of...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Daily Freeman
Alan Chartock
Sunday, April 22, 2012
SHOULD we pay for politicians’ campaigns? Of course we should. As the guy on the TV commercial used to say, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.”Obviously, politicians spend inordinate amounts of time raising money. Money...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Times
Editorial Board
Saturday, April 14, 2012
 While New York waits for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to keep his promise to reform its election system, some powerful New Yorkers are stepping into the vacuum. A coalition that includes Barry Diller; Chris Hughes, a founding member of...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Times
Friday, April 6, 2012
The potential of online voter registration to engage new voters.
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Business Journal
Monday, April 2, 2012
 Bravo! As I write this editorial, the pundits are 99 percent certain that our elected officials will present us with another on-time budget for New York State. 
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Budget
Budget

Times Union
Editorial Board
Sunday, March 18, 2012
 Our opinion: A better state budget would incorporate both Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s incentives for schools and more money for poorer districts.So here we are, well into March, amid indications that the governor and the state Legislature are on...
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Budget
Budget

Post Star
Editorial Board
Sunday, March 18, 2012
 Gov. Cuomo has proved he can get things done, but it is more often than not ugly, backroom wheeling and dealing with no attempt to gauge the will of the people.
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The Record
Editorial Board
Sunday, March 18, 2012
 They would be the majority in the Assembly and the Senate, the people who drew up the most distorted set of election district lines since the original effort by Elbridge Gerry and who managed to then dangle these as bait and got Gov. Andrew Cuomo...
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Buffalo News
Bob McCarthy
Sunday, March 18, 2012
 Lines for New York’s congressional and legislative districts for the next decade are semi-finalized. Life in politics around here can now proceed. 
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Democrat and Chronicle
Editorial Board
Saturday, March 17, 2012
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York’s legislative leaders reached a grand deal last week that settled a number of complex and controversial issues, for which they deserve due credit. But they did it absent any public debate, for which they do not...
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Utica Observer-Dispatch
Editorial Board
Saturday, March 17, 2012
 The backroom dealing that helped define Albany as dysfunctional for so many years reared up again this past week as Gov. Andrew Cuomo huddled with top lawmakers to strike a bargain on redistricting that won’t see the light of day for at least...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Newsday
Editorial
Friday, March 16, 2012
 First of an occasional seriesProhibition didn't work well in New York State, but it would have fared even worse if alcohol had been legal in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And if our laws forbidding...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Daily News
Editorial Board
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
 As push comes to shove in Albany on taming the government pension beast, Gov. Cuomo must hold fast on three points:No pension reform, no budget.No substantial savings on traditional retirement benefits, no pension reform.And no 401(k)...
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Pensions
Pensions

Daily News
Editorial Board
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
 The closer you look at Gov. Cuomo’s proposed gerrymandering deal with the Legislature, the worse it gets.The high-stakes horse trade calls for Cuomo to sign off on blatantly partisan Assembly and Senate districts this year in exchange...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Post
Monday, March 12, 2012
 Gerrymandering — redrawing district lines to assure that incumbents keep their base — is certainly part of it.But unless you’re among the lucky few to get the nod from party kingpins, you stand little chance of even making it on...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Post
Friday, March 2, 2012
In his day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rightly denounced the Southern states-rights strategy of “interposition and nullification.” Today, he’d say the same of New York actions preventing the enforcement of federal laws. 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Times
Editorial Board
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
A three-judge panel on the court ruled 2 to 1 that the California ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, was unconstitutional because it singled out a minority group and took away a right — the right to marry — that had been...
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Marriage
Marriage

Auburn Pub
Editorial
Monday, February 27, 2012
 In the mess that is the redistricting process for state and congressional boundaries in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week began implying that he just may back away from his earlier promises to veto legislation that does not go through an...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Ithaca Journal
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Henry S. Kramer's attack on home rule in a recent Guest Viewpoint would strip us of the last vestiges of democracy, leaving us the victims of top-down, corporate-dominated government.Kramer asserts that home rule leads to "tyrannical power...
This "Guest Viewpoint" is a rebuttal of arguments that Home Rule lacks an inherrent system of checks and balances, and points out that Home Rule is "enshrined" in the New York Constitution as a protection from having State-Wide agendae forced upon local governments.  This article argues that Home Rule allows for local governments to be able to exercise local control in accord with the desires of the local peoples.
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Home Rule
Home Rule

Ithaca Journal
Henry S. Kramer
Thursday, February 16, 2012
"Home rule." Sound good and close to the people? But local governments, the beneficiaries of "home rule," do not conform to basic American constitutional principles.At all levels of a representative republic, representatives are...
In this "Guest Viewpoint", Henry S. Kramer of the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition questions the concept of Home Rule, and challenges it.  On of the major points that he makes is that Home Rule lacks an inherrent system of checks and balances, and points out that most local governments at the town level have one body that exercises both Legislative and Executive Powers.
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Home Rule
Home Rule

New York Times
Editorial
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Mr. Cuomo has the right under state law to milk this system, as his colleagues and competitors do. But, as governor, he has the obligation to end this corrupting mess, as even some of the wealthiest New Yorkers made clear in a press conference on...
The op-ed is relevant because it calls on Gov. Cuomo to realize his pledge of fixing New York's "scandalously lax" campaign finance laws.
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Newsday
Bob Keeler
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
In any conversation about the need to fix New York, the phrase "constitutional amendment" quickly emerges.Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants to legalize casino gambling. Sorry, that would take a constitutional amendment.
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Democrat and Chronicle
Editorial Board
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Granted, last year saw perhaps the most productive session of the New York Legislature in decades. But one session does not make up for years of dysfunction, which contributed to widening state budget gapsthat became the norm and New York’s flat...
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Newsday
Susan Lerner
Monday, January 23, 2012
Common Cause/NY is committed to showing the public that there are valid alternatives to politically gerrymandered district lines. Through our Mapping Democracy Project, and working with an advisory committee including academics, we have drawn the only...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Albany Times Union
Editorial
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Our position: Good-government groups refuse to be shut out. Whose side will Governor Cuomo take? They're watching you, Governor Cuomo. You, too, all you influential state legislators. The most civic-minded of New York's citizens aren't...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Post
Robert B. Ward
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
When it comes to writing laws that relate to specific budget items, the primary power again is in the hands of the chief executive. That’s what the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, said in a 2004 decision. Unfortunately, the court...
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Budget
Budget

New York Times
Editorial
Monday, January 16, 2012
A Federal District Court late last month wisely upheld a 2010 Maryland law that counts prison inmates as residents in their home communities for purposes of redistricting, rather than at the prisons where they are incarcerated.
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Newsday
Gerald Benjamin
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Government at all levels is in bad repute in America. The issue of drawing fair new districts based on the 2010 Census data is important not only for assuring well-functioning representative democracy, but for rebuilding the very legitimacy of...
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Capital Tonight
Liz Benjamin
Friday, January 6, 2012
The governor has also insisted – with varying degrees of certitude – that anything other than an independently drawn plan won’t receive his approval. Cuomo reiterated that claim in the written version of his State of the State...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

The Wall Street Journal
Sam Favate
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Montana’s 1912 Corrupt Practices Act blocks certain political speech by corporations;  plaintiffs in the case sought to have the century-old law declared unconstitutional. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, who represented...
The Montana decision demonstrates a state's power to restrict political speech by corporations on a local level.
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New York Post
Ed Cox
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Yet the governor has the constitutional power to drive pension reform in the budget process (see Article VII of the 1929 amendments to the state Constitution) — and he knows it.
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Pensions
Pensions

Capital New York
Azi Paybarah
Monday, December 26, 2011
The New York Times editorial board wants Andrew Cuomo to fix the state's permissive campaign-finance rules in 2012, and offers a list of specific measures he could undertake to deliver on his promise to "root out corruption and...
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New York Times
Editorial
Thursday, December 15, 2011
"We need to live within our means. The challenge is to find ways to cut spending equitably and limit the disruption to essential services and the damage to the state’s future."
An important perspective from a 2011 New York Times editorial which outlines the various areas of the state's $132 billion budget that need close examination as a source of potential cost savings and spending reductions.
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Spending Cap
Spending Cap

New York Post
E. J. McMahon
Sunday, December 11, 2011
"Rising spending is a well-established trend in New York, as shown in the accompanying chart. Adjusting for average inflation during each fiscal year, the State Operating Funds budget — excluding the permanent, recurring federal share of...
Senior Fellow at the prestigious Manhattan Institute's "Empire Center for New York State Policy", E.J. McMahon's 2011 opinion piece written for the New York Post makes the case as to why higher taxes are not the answer to solving New York's chronic overspending problem and traces the growth of state spending over successive administrations.
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Spending Cap
Spending Cap

Press Republican
Editorial
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
"But, for decades, they have been counted in the communities where they were housed. Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties are home to one federal and 10 state and correctional facilities. Those thousands of inmates have been welcome additions to the...
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New York Times
Editorial
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
"New York’s legislative redistricting committee is holding public hearings around the state, but the exercise is a sham. The new political districts are being drawn in secret for one overriding purpose: to protect party majorities...
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Utica Observer-Dispatch
Editorial
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Quick. Name a position where the only qualification for employment is that you belong to a particular political party; once hired, your employer has absolutely no say in how you do your job or whether you even keep it. Bzzt! Time’s up. Answer: county...
Changing the system would require a constitutional amendment, since rules governing the process are part of the state constitution and have been on the books since 1894. The system was originally designed to keep elections fair and clean, but through the years it has helped keep the two parties in power and, as SUNY New Paltz Professor Gerald Benjamin says, has opened the door to patronage jobs that virtually lock out independent and third-party voters.
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Elections
Elections

Post Star
Editorial
Sunday, September 18, 2011
"As we've said, legalizing casino gambling in New York isn't necessarily a terrible idea.It has the potential to create hundreds of jobs in economically depressed areas and to boost the year-round tourist economies of places like Lake George...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

New York Post
Editorial
Monday, August 15, 2011
"It’s certainly worth considering. And, fortunately, there’s plenty of time to debate the larger issue -- whether legalized gambling in New York, overall, should be dramatically expanded." 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Daily News
Editorial
Thursday, August 11, 2011
"The idea that casinos would lure high rollers from other states is a long shot at best. More likely, they would cater to homegrown gamblers, creating only the illusion of economic development."
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Times Union
Editorial
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
"So let’s watch out for especially blatant examples of electoral map-making that smack of incumbent protection. That’s especially critical in the Senate, where the Republicans have made it painfully clear that independent redistricting...
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Times Union
Editorial
Sunday, July 10, 2011
 THE ISSUE: The Legislature forges ahead with its old, corrupt redistricting process.THE STAKES: How can voters have any faith in a system designed by people who openly break their word?
 THE ISSUE: The Legislature forges ahead with its old, corrupt redistricting process.THE STAKES: How can voters have any faith in a system designed by people who openly break their word?
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Times Union
Ekow Yankah
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
 Imagine that you have been moved 300 miles from home, separated from anything familiar, isolated from your home and community. You are obligated to stay for a number of years. You no longer vote but, more peculiarly, your representation in...
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New York Post
Chris Collins
Monday, May 9, 2011
"The state's mandates on local governments are far too numerous to detail here. Let's start with the mother of all mandates -- Medicaid.  Nearly every dime Erie County collects in non-school-tax property taxes goes directly to the state...
In this 2011 opinion piece for the New York Post, former Erie County Executive Chris Collins advocates for Albany to rein in unfunded mandates such as Medicaid that are absorbing a majority of Counties' property tax levies, in addition to addressing runaway public sector pension costs and expenses imposed on local school districts via the state's Taylor Law. 
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

New York Times
Editorial
Monday, April 18, 2011
"The New York State Legislature took a stand for electoral fairness last year when it banned prison-based gerrymandering, the cynical practice of counting prison inmates as “residents” to pad the population of legislative districts. The...
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New York Post
Steve Levy
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
"Local governments are crushed under the weight of state mandates and regulations. While I have frozen Suffolk County general-fund taxes for seven straight years, it has become increasingly challenging to control other costs so that we can absorb...
This 2011 New York Post opinion piece from former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy underscores the urgent need for Albany to take proactive steps in addressing the crushing financial burden that unfunded mandates impose on local governments and urges future boldness from, the State Mandate Relief Redesign Team when tackling the issue of unfunded state mandates.
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

Daily News
Joshua Spivak
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"This is an opportunity for the state to rethink the  position and actually turn the job into a useful one. There is one simple way to do that: Follow 18 other states and split the ticket, allowing voters to directly elect lieutenant governors in...
An amendment to the New York State Constitution to elect the Lieutenant Governor directly would allow for the people of New York to both choose the LG, as well as replace the LG in the event of a vacancy.
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Vacancies
Vacancies

Daily News
Joshua Spivak
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Thanks to the scandals enveloping Gov. Paterson, for the second time in two years, New York faces the possibility, remote though it may be, of a lieutenant governor stepping up to the top spot. While the current occupant, Richard Ravitch, is widely...
This Opinion piece proposes that the Lieutenant Governor should be elected separately from the Governor.  The author asserts that this would ensure that the people elected to serve as Lieutenant Governor would be better suited for office, and less likely to be chosen to cater to one particular interest group.
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Utica Observer-Dispatch
Editorial
Friday, February 26, 2010
In January, it was reported that the 6,000-plus prison inmates at Oneida County’s four prisons are factored into population totals for county legislative districts in Marcy and Rome. Meanwhile, in the city of Rome, nearly half the people in the...
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New York Times
Editorial
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Of all the tricks that New York’s legislators use to hang on to office, the one that works best — for the politicians, that is — is redistricting. Mapmaking in Albany is a dark art form designed to make absolutely certain that...
The New York Times points out some of the results of current court approved "pure and corrupt" gerrymandering practices in a call for an independent redistricting commission, which would require a Constitutional Change.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Daily News
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
"New York State must come to terms with a harsh economic reality: It can no longer tax and borrow its way out of the current economic crisis and remain competitive as a place to live, work and do business. Spending cuts are required, and they won...
2009 opinion piece for the New York Daily News written by Citizens Budget Commission President, Carol Kellermann making a clear and convincing case for New York's state government to control spending by addressing three of the principal cost drivers -- Medicaid, personnel costs and education -- in order to restore fiscal accountability in Albany and protect taxpayers.
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Spending Cap
Spending Cap

Christian Science Monitor
Alexandra Marks
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Calling the New York Senate “childish” and “chaotic,” Governor Paterson on Thursday asserted his right to appoint a lieutenant governor. He has also gone to court to challenge the Republican-backed effort to stop his new...
A constitutional amendment would clarify how the Lieutenant Governor is to be replaced in the event of a vacancy.
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Vacancies
Vacancies

The Economist
Editorial
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Many would argue that gubernatorial appointments give too much power to one person and too little to voters. Since 1913 more than 180 senators have been appointed by governors, according to Fair Vote, a voting-rights advocacy group. Only four states...
The current system of filling vacancies in New York affords too much power to the executive.  A constitutional amendment could establish a process for filling vacancies that is more balanced.
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Vacancies
Vacancies

New York Times
Monday, March 17, 2008
By upholding New York’s machine-dominated system for selecting judges, the Supreme Court has dealt another setback to voters. The court has once again allowed political bosses to rig elections in ways that deny voters a meaningful role. New York...
This editorial highlights the issue of partisan Judicial Elections, and claims that the process needs to change to prevent party machine control.
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Judiciary
Judiciary

New York Post
Michael R. Long
Monday, January 1, 2007
"Another, very different change would be to bring initiative, referendum and recall to this state. Many other states adopted these reforms early last century; it's time for New York to catch up.  As you know, initiative and referendum allow...
The following is a 2007 guest editorial opinion offered in the New York Post from the the Honorable Mike Long, Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, making a strong case as to how initiative and referendum, if enacted in New York, would empower citizens to make an end-run around powerful special interests that dominate the state legislature and have continually held-up real reform.
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Referendum
Referendum

Albany Times Union
Howard Healy
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
"Unfortunately, initiative and referendum can come to New York state only if the legislative leaders agree to set the process in motion. It would require a constitutional amendment, which means two separately elected legislatures must vote to put it...
This 2004 editorial from the Times Union demonstrates the challenges to initiative and referendum becoming a reality in New York State -- and how these "direct democracy" resources could be beneficial to the Empire State.
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Referendum
Referendum

News Coverage:

New York Times
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo created the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption in early July, he promised a muscular response to bad behavior by legislators that included allegations of bribe taking, favor trading and embezzlement.
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Ethics
Ethics

Michael Gormley
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Samuels: "It's a real disappointment. I think what he's really saying is 'I, Andrew Cuomo manage the old culture very well, and I'm getting results.' 
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New York Times
Jesse McKinley
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The Legislature has been considering a bill that would amend the State Constitution, if approved by voters, to extend the retirement age to 80 for hundreds of judges statewide, including the chief judge of the Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman.
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Buffalo News
Sandra Tan
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Revisions saved some jobs, didn't address stadium.
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File Under:
Education
Education

Daily News
Glenn Blain
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Cuomo even goes as far as saying 16-year-olds should preregister so they don't miss the opportunity to be heard. 
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Rachel Weiner
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Includes commentary by Effective NY co-founder Dr. Gerald Benjamin.
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New York Times
Jesse McKinley
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Stephanie Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, has criticized the governor’s proposal to allow local governments to defer a portion of their pension costs by choosing a fixed contribution rate below a higher current one.  In doing so, she has become a...
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Pensions
Pensions

Chris Mckenna
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
 More than a dozen speakers at a public hearing Monday night criticized the Republicans' plan for redrawing Orange County's 21 legislative districts, urging lawmakers to reject or change proposed maps they saw for the first time last month...
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Thomson Reuters
Daniel Wiessner
Friday, March 1, 2013
ALBANY, N.Y. (Reuters) - The New York State Assembly on Thursday approved an amendment to the state constitution that would allow state judges to stay on the bench until they turn 80.Currently, the mandatory retirement age of state Supreme Court Justices...
This clip is relevant because it is giving a progress repot of the constitutional amendment as it makes its way through the State Legislature.
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Daily News
Ken Lovett
Thursday, February 28, 2013
 Government reform activist Bill Samuels is calling on Gov. Cuomo to release and push for a specific campaign finance plan “immediately.”“What is he waiting for?” Samuels, the co-founder of Effective NY, said in a statement...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

City & State
Jon Lentz
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The first passage of a constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling in New York came fairly easily last year, with the Legislature agreeing on vague language that capped the number of casinos at seven and with relatively few lawmakers voting no....
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Utica Observer-Dispatch
Keshia Clukey
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
 Proposed position cuts include: 54 teachers, 4½ administrators, 11 teacher assistants, six custodial and trade, and 12½ clerical. Four of the 88 positions will be cut through attrition. 
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Education
Education

Times Union
Paul Nelson
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
 The executive director of the state Council of School Superintendents told an audience of educators and concerned residents from the Capital Region that "more school districts are closer to their fiscal cliff today than ever before."
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Education
Education

New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Thursday, February 7, 2013
In November, the state comptroller instructed Mr. Boyland, 42, whose father and uncle both served in the Assembly, to repay the state $67,497 in travel reimbursements he had received by claiming to be in Albany on hundreds of days when, an...
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Ethics
Ethics

Timothy Chipp
Thursday, February 7, 2013
The Governor's 4.4 percent increase to school aid in the recent budget pales in comparison to the increase the district faces in contributions to both the teacher and employee retirement systems.  Furthermore, it will be distibuted unevenly,...
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Education
Education

The Jamestown Post-Journal
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Several Republican state lawmakers, criticizing the quick passage last month of gun restrictions, say they've introduced legislation that would limit Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's use of so-called "messages of necessity...
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Gotham Gazette
Gerald Benjamin
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Politicians weigh means against ends every day. It’s part of the job description. In a masterful film, Steven Speilberg showed us how Lincoln balanced means and ends as he sought the abolition of slavery. The message: bend the rules, but don’...
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Times Union
Rick Karlin
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
 ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to allow localities to smooth out their pension costs over time is either a money-saver or a risky gimmick, depending on whom you ask. 
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Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
 ALBANY — Mayors of some fiscally stressed upstate cities worry that relief proposals Gov. Andrew Cuomo included in his budget proposal won't go far enough. 
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Huffington Post
Aaron Sankin
Friday, January 18, 2013
In an effort to boost youth voter turnout, California may try a program that would allow Golden State teenagers as young as 15 to pre-register to vote.
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Capital New York
Azi Paybarah
Thursday, January 17, 2013
 Governor Andrew Cuomo denied he rushed his gun control legislation through the New York State legislature to in order to garner headlines and beat President Obama's unveiling of similar legislation on the federal level.
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YNN
Nick Reisman
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s message of necessity that skirts the three-day waiting period so lawmakers can pass his gun control legislation this week outlines what his office says is the immediate need to get the law in place. 
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lohud.com
Jon Campbell
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
 The state Assembly voted to bolster New York’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo expected to sign a package of tougher gun measures into law as early as Tuesday afternoon. 
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Times Union
Rick Karlin
Monday, January 14, 2013
 Assembly GOP Minority Leader Brian Kolb is on the House floor and he’s railing against the Message of Necessity that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would need to sign in order to get a gun control package through tonight, which is looking increasingly...
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Crain's New York
Chris Bragg
Sunday, January 13, 2013
 A year ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the centerpiece of his State of the State address an ambitious plan to legalize casino gambling in New York. A $4 billion convention center in Queens was to be built next to the Aqueduct racino, which...
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File Under:
Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Newsday
Editorial
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
 The financing of political campaigns in New York State is ugly. The contribution limits are so high and the rules so loose that grassroots campaigns not backed by big money rarely have any hope of succeeding. And now, the growing...
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File Under:
EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Newsday
Editorial
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The financing of political campaigns in New York State is ugly. The contribution limits are so high and the rules so loose that grassroots campaigns not backed by big money rarely have any hope of succeeding. And now, the growing influence of gambling...
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File Under:
Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Times Union
Rick Karlin
Monday, January 7, 2013
 Campaign finance — and ways to reform it, is shaping up as one of the stories of the day here. NYPIRG later this morning will put out an analysis of spending trends in the most recent campaign cycle and just now Senator Liz Krueger and Bill...
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File Under:
EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

The Wall Street Journal
Monday, January 7, 2013
 ALBANY, N.Y. — An innovative proposal expected in the New York Legislature would take some revenue from casino promoters and opponents who spend millions in campaign contributions and create a fund designed to reduce the influence of money in...
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File Under:
EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

lohud.com
Jessica Bakeman
Monday, January 7, 2013
 A state Senator and reform advocate Monday proposed generating revenue for campaign finance reform by charging licensing fees to casinos in New York, should they be allowed to operate in the state. 
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File Under:
EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

San Francisco Chronicle
Michael Gormley
Monday, January 7, 2013
 ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An innovative proposal expected in the New York Legislature would take some revenue from casino promoters and opponents who spend millions in campaign contributions and create a fund designed to reduce the influence of...
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File Under:
EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

lohud.com
Jessica Bakeman
Monday, January 7, 2013
State Senator Liz Krueger and reform advocate Monday proposed generating revenue for campaign finance reform by charging licensing fees to casinos in New York, should they be allowed to operate in the state.
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File Under:
Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Daily News
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Nearly 25 years ago, we helped craft a campaign finance system for New York City that has enhanced our democracy ever since. By sharply limiting the amount any one person can contribute — and providing public matching funds for small donations...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Scoop
Bill Berkowitz
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
 If somewhere in the recesses of your mind you were wondering how, despite President Barack Obama’s re-election victory and the Democratic Party’s gains in the Senate, Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, think...
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File Under:
Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Times
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that he would seek legislation to significantly expand New York’s regulation of political spending by corporations, individuals and tax-exempt groups during his third year in office.
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File Under:
Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Capital Tonight
Maureen McManus
Thursday, November 29, 2012
 Thursday advocates for constitutional reform met in Albany to discuss the two amendments that will be before the legislature come January, and other way’s the state’s constitution could be updated. New Roosevelt Initiative founder Bill...
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File Under:
EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

New York Times
Danny Hakim
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
 Six years after New York’s highest court forced the state to substantially increase financing to poor school districts, the group that won that ruling is threatening a new lawsuit unless Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Legislature come up with...
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File Under:
Education
Education

The American Prospect
Mike Konczal
Monday, November 19, 2012
 Now that Obamacare—the largest expansion of the social-safety net in the last 60 years—is safe, what's next for the liberal economic project? 
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New York Times
Tamar Lewin
Sunday, November 11, 2012
 When Michele Fitzgerald and her daughter, Jenni, go out for dinner, Jenni pays. When they get haircuts, Jenni pays. When they buy groceries, Jenni pays.http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/global/borders/doubleRule.gif); background-color:...
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New York Times
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
 At the private air terminal at Logan Airport in Boston early Wednesday, men in unwrinkled suits sank into plush leather chairs as they waited to board Gulfstream jets, trading consolations overMitt Romney’s loss the day before.  
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Capital Confidential
Jimmy Vielkind
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Several Democratic and liberal activists are publicly calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to endorse State Senate hopeful Cecilia Tkaczyk, something the popular Democratic standard bearer has shown no interest in doing.
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Crain's New York
Chris Bragg
Monday, October 22, 2012
 This morning, The New York Times reported that affluent advocates of campaign finance reform planned to pour at least $600,000 into two key competitive state Senate races. Besides raising the profile of the issue in the 2012...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Good morning! Wet weather will return. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will tour sites developed by the North Country Regional Economic Council, and end his day in Albany. Sandra Fluke will join Sean Patrick Maloney today in Newburgh. Assembly Minority Leader Brian...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Gotham Gazette
David King
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Bill Samuels, head of the New Roosevelt Initiative, wants campaign finance reform, and he wants it bad.
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Newsday
Yancey Roy
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
 ALBANY -- An upstate senator renewed his call Tuesday for term limits on state Senate and Assembly leaders, in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal that's entangled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 
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Term Limits
Term Limits

Capital Tonight
Nick Reisman
Monday, September 24, 2012
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to keep the door open on a legislative pay raise later this year, a measure that may come later this year that’s included in a package of bills aimed to resolve a host of issues such as raising the...
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Daily News
Celeste Katz
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Bill Samuels of Effective NY and New Roosevelt fame is pushing Gov. Cuomo to support reinstating the benefits of workers formerly employed by the now-defunct NYC OTB -- and it's a subject close to his heart.
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Daily News
Celeste Katz
Thursday, September 13, 2012
 Bill Samuels of Effective NY and New Roosevelt fame is pushing Gov. Cuomo to support reinstating the benefits of workers formerly employed by the now-defunct NYC OTB -- and it's a subject close to his heart. 
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

NBC
Michael Gormley
Friday, September 7, 2012
 The most independent member of the state's ethics board quit on Friday hours after he called for a federal probe into what he said was corruption on it. 
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Ethics
Ethics

The Sag Harbor Express
Amanda Wyatt
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
 As school starts this week, administrators and teachers on the East End are grappling with much more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. 
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

Capital New York
Dana Rubenstein
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
 Governor Andrew Cuomo considers the system of racinos in New York to be a "scandal." 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

New York Times
Danny Hakim
Monday, September 3, 2012
 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver asked one of his most prominent members to resign last Friday amid a sexual harassment scandal but was rebuffed, Mr. Silver said in an interview on Monday.  
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Ethics
Ethics

Newsday
Ted Phillips
Monday, September 3, 2012
 As New York lawmakers eye legislation next year to legalize up to seven casinos, increased competition from casinos sprouting across the Northeast and a struggling economy already have spread the gambling dollar thin, experts say. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Democrat and Chronicle
Jon Campbell
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
 Thousands of political campaigns in New York missed a July filing deadline or reported no activity, ranging from local officeholders to former state senators, according to a report released Wednesday by a good-government group. 
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New York One (NY1) News
Errol Louis
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
 NY1 VIDEO: Inside City Hall’s Errol Louis spoke with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Bill Samuels, the chairman of the New Roosevelt Initiative, who are the co-founders of Effective New York, about what reforms they would like to...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

New Paltz Times
Thomas Kaplan
Thursday, August 16, 2012
 ALBANY — Aides communicate with untraceable messages sent from BlackBerry to BlackBerry. Nothing delicate is shared using e-mail. And in-boxes are regularly wiped clean. 
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Daily News
Kenneth Lovett
Monday, August 13, 2012
 ALBANY — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hasn’t played his hand on where he’d like to see a casino in the city, but he is open to Coney Island or Willets Point, the Daily News has learned. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

New York Press
City and State
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
 After helping knock Pedro Espada out of the Senate in 2010, lefty millionaire Bill Samuels is  getting involved this year in a Brooklyn district leader race. 
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Beth Morrissey
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
 Dozens of executives of companies that do business with city government are finding their way around strict limits on campaign contributions, raising nearly $1 million so far on behalf of prospective 2013 candidates for mayor even though they...
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Gotham Gazette
Nina Goldman
Monday, August 6, 2012
 NEW YORK — In an alternate reality, New York is gearing up for the most competitive elections it has seen in years.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Ithaca Journal
Jessica Bakeman
Friday, August 3, 2012
 ALBANY — Flowers, cigars, fancy dinners and legal fees were all put on New York lawmakers’ campaign bills during the last year, according to disclosure reports filed this year. 
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Press Connects
Steve Reilly
Thursday, August 2, 2012
 UNION -- Local governments across the state are facing fiscal challenges that call for closer monitoring of municipal finances, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said during a visit with the Press & Sun-Bulletin editorial board on...
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New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
 Local governments across New York State are collecting less in taxes, burning through their cash reserves and running up deficits, according to a report released Wednesday by the state comptroller.http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

WXXI News
Karen Dewitt
Monday, July 30, 2012
 Governor Cuomo began his term in office promising that he would run one of the most transparent and open governments in state history. But, eighteen months into his term, news stories relating to Governor Cuomo’s perceived lack of...
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WXXI News
Karen Dewitt
Monday, July 30, 2012
 Governor Cuomo began his term in office promising that he would run one of the most transparent and open governments in state history. But, eighteen months into his term, news stories relating to Governor Cuomo’s perceived lack of...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

WXXI News
Karen Dewitt
Monday, July 30, 2012
 Governor Cuomo began his term in office promising that he would run one of the most transparent and open governments in state history. But, eighteen months into his term, news stories relating to Governor Cuomo’s perceived lack of...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

National Review Online
Patrick Brennan
Friday, July 27, 2012
 This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill providing new tax credits for film editing and post-production, expanding upon existing credits available for work done in New York state. Unfortunately, this new law isn’t even like a failed...
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

lohud.com
Jon Campbell
Thursday, July 26, 2012
“The problem is this: You have someone who is trying to lead—that we want to lead—on getting money out of politics in Albany … and at the same time he’s cynically taking major money from corporations,” said Samuels,...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Democrat and Chronicle
Jon Campbell
Thursday, July 26, 2012
 A one-time Democratic fundraiser said Gov. Andrew Cuomo should “lead by example” when it comes to reshaping the state’s oft-criticized campaign finance laws, calling on him to reject corporate donations from now through 2014.
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

lohud.com
Jon Campbell
Thursday, July 26, 2012
 A one-time Democratic fundraiser said Gov. Andrew Cuomo should “lead by example” when it comes to reshaping the state’s oft-criticized campaign finance laws, calling on him to reject corporate donations from now through 2014.
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
 Frustrated with Albany’s tepid reaction to the idea of publicly financed elections, the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and his fiancé are financing a new campaign to press the issue in coordination with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo....
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

USA Today
Christine Dugas
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
 One big change in the last 15 years is hardly a surprise: Americans face more economic uncertainty and financial challenges. 
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YNN
Zack Fink
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
NEW YORK STATE -- In May, the Albany Times Union began looking through documents from Andrew Cuomo's term as state Attorney General. Reporters found a memo revealing interviews that were done by Cuomo's investigators in the Attorney General's...
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New York Times
Danny Hakim
Monday, July 23, 2012
 ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, already drawing attention for its focus on secrecy, has now begun editing his record as New York attorney general, sending aides to the state archives to remove key documents from...
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Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Monday, July 23, 2012
 ALBANY — For those seeking the history of Andrew Cuomo's tenure as attorney general through the State Archives, be advised: Members of the governor's staff may go over the material before you arrive, review it after you leave and...
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Thomas Kaplan
Monday, July 16, 2012
ALBANY — Aides communicate with untraceable messages sent from BlackBerry to BlackBerry. Nothing delicate is shared using e-mail. And in-boxes are regularly wiped clean. 
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Thomas Kaplan
Monday, July 16, 2012
ALBANY — Aides communicate with untraceable messages sent from BlackBerry to BlackBerry. Nothing delicate is shared using e-mail. And in-boxes are regularly wiped clean. 
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Governing
Dylan Scott
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
 It's a new twist in the government-pension conversation: some states are considering government-run retirement plans for private-sector employees.An important note: these proposals do not ask for taxpayer money to be given to private retirement...
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Auburn Pub
Robert Harding
Thursday, June 28, 2012
 One of the items New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discussed with The Citizen's editorial board last week was his campaign finance reform proposal for the state comptroller's race and the impact of money on elections. 
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Auburn Pub
Robert Harding
Thursday, June 28, 2012
 One of the items New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discussed with The Citizen's editorial board last week was his campaign finance reform proposal for the state comptroller's race and the impact of money on elections. 
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Newsday
Yancey Roy
Monday, June 25, 2012
 Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo seems to be laying the groundwork, verbally, for a legislators' pay raise after Election Day. 
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New York Post
Monday, June 25, 2012
 Gov. Cuomo may link pay hikes for state lawmakers to an end to the much-abused “per diem’’ reimbursement system and cuts in mandates on hard-pressed local governments, The Post has learned. 
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Vegas Inc
Richard Velotta
Friday, June 15, 2012
 Is Nevada short-changing itself by requiring interactive gaming license applicants to pay $500,000 for an initial one-year license and $250,000 a year to renew it? 
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Vegas Inc
Richard Velotta
Friday, June 15, 2012
 Is Nevada short-changing itself by requiring interactive gaming license applicants to pay $500,000 for an initial one-year license and $250,000 a year to renew it? 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Daily News
Celeste Katz
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
  Gov. Cuomo, during a meeting this morning with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, told the leaders he will not be giving any messages of necessity that would let them vote on bills before they aged the...
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Times Union
Rick Karlin
Saturday, June 9, 2012
 This came up a few years ago but didn’t quite get off the ground, now Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is dusting off his proposal for campaign finance reform, starting with his office. 
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Syracuse.com
Saturday, June 9, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Thursday proposed sweeping campaign finance changes for the office following political influence scandals that tarnished the state’s top fiscal office under his...
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Times Union
Rick Karlin
Saturday, June 9, 2012
 This came up a few years ago but didn’t quite get off the ground, now Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is dusting off his proposal for campaign finance reform, starting with his office. 
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Syracuse.com
Saturday, June 9, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Thursday proposed sweeping campaign finance changes for the office following political influence scandals that tarnished the state’s top fiscal office under his...
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New York Times
Friday, June 8, 2012
A group seeking to recall Gov. Rick Snyder announced Thursday that it had ended the effort after Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin’s recall election. The group, Michigan Rising, said it would stop collecting signatures, noting...
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Recall
Recall

Bloomberg Businessweek
Henry Goldman
Friday, June 8, 2012
 New York City is big enough to accommodate more than one casino should Governor Andrew Cuomo succeed in fostering more gambling in the state, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

New York Times
Monica Davey
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
WAUKESHA, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker, whose decision to cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers set off a firestorm in a state usually known for its political civility, easily held on to his job on Tuesday, becoming the first...
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Recall
Recall

New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
 Frustrated with Albany’s tepid reaction to the idea of publicly financed elections, the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and his fiancé are financing a new campaign to press the issue in coordination with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo....
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Monday, June 4, 2012
ALBANY — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Monday that he would support a proposal by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to significantly curb the number of people who could be arrested for marijuana possession as a result of police stops.
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New York Times
Monday, June 4, 2012
 A group closely allied with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo received $2 million from gambling interests last December as he developed a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York.http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/global/borders/doubleRule.gif...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Times
Monday, June 4, 2012
A group closely allied with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo received $2 million from gambling interests last December as he developed a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Times Union
James M Odato
Monday, June 4, 2012
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo has abruptly broken off his relationship with Genting on a proposed convention center in Queens and is now calling the racino structure in New York that Genting is a part of “a scandal.” 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

The Wall Street Journal
Jacob Gershman
Monday, June 4, 2012
 A lobbying group controlled by Genting Bhd. and other gambling interests donated $2 million to a powerful committee that backs New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at around the same time that the governor announced he would push to legalize casinos. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Danny Hakim
Monday, May 28, 2012
Few investors are more bullish these days than public pension funds. 
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Pensions
Pensions

Syracuse.com
Alaina Potrikus
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Gesturing to the statue of the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice that sits atop the county courthouse, Madison County Supervisor John Becker decried the injustice of state mandated programs that are consuming county property tax revenues.
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

New York Post
Carl Campanile
Monday, May 21, 2012
 Place your bets here! A Queens lawmaker wants to legalize betting on professional sports in New York — and his proposed legislation has the backing of one of the state’s top prosecutors, Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Ithaca Journal
Jon Campbell
Monday, May 21, 2012
 ALBANY -- For a coalition of religious groups and community advocates, it's never too early to look toward next year. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Times Union
Casey Seiler
Monday, May 21, 2012
 ALBANY — A coalition of anti-gambling advocates is hoping to derail the next step on the road to an expansion of casino gaming in New York — an effort that pits them against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature as well...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

New City Patch
Robin Traum
Monday, May 21, 2012
 Leading a bipartisan coalition of 22 states and the District of Columbia, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold state campaign finance laws in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Times Union
Fred LeBrun
Saturday, May 19, 2012
 Public education has been a disaster for Andrew Cuomo, and vice versa.  
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

Times Union
Rick Karlin
Saturday, May 19, 2012
 ALBANY — A coalition of campaign finance reform supporters has mined election data to get personal to promote public financing of electoral campaigns. 
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Ithaca Journal
Joseph Spector
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
 ALBANY -- School districts that stayed within the property-tax cap had little trouble winning support from voters on Tuesday. Those that strayed had difficulty. 
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Times Union
Scott Waldman
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
 Voters in virtually every school district in the state approved their school budgets on Tuesday.  
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Ithaca Journal
Kevin Begos
Monday, May 7, 2012
PITTSBURGH — Marcellus shale gas wells in Pennsylvania generated about $3.5 billion in gross revenues for drillers in 2011, along with about $1.2 billion in West Virginia, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
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Environment
Environment

The Empire
Colby Hamilton
Monday, May 7, 2012
 President Barack Obama’s visit to a microchip manufacturing plant makes sense for Obama: a chance to connect to white, rural voters similar to those in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania he’ll need to get reelected in November;...
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Buffalo News
Charlie Specht
Sunday, May 6, 2012
 NIAGARA FALLS — Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter says that direct payments from the Indian nation to the municipalities that host its casinos are not a solution to the dispute between the Senecas and the state. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

lohud.com
Joseph Spector
Saturday, May 5, 2012
 ALBANY — The state’s fiscal woes may have been largely remedied, but the problems have been pushed down to local governments. And perhaps nowhere is it more pronounced than in upstate cities. 
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

Daily News
Celeste Katz
Thursday, May 3, 2012
 The state's highest court gave its blessing this morning to the Senate GOP’s move to create a 63rd Senate Seat. 
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Newsday
Dan Janison
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
 Without prompting, third-term Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer rips into the way mega-money from corporations and wealthy individuals suffuses federal elections. 
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Daily News
Celeste Katz
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Gov. Cuomo blasted the special interest money that helps control Albany -- hours before jetting off to Buffalo for a $5,000-a-head campaign fundraiser.
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Fox 23
Walt McClure
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
A new battle is shaping up at the New York State Capitol over campaign finance reform. 
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Times Union
James M Odato
Sunday, April 29, 2012
 Based on findings by President Barack Obama's strategist and pollster, New York's attempt to legalize casinos is off to a dubious start. The Benenson Group talked to 800 New York registered voters last month and found that 50...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

The Daily White Plains
Luke Lavoie
Friday, April 27, 2012
 RYE, N.Y. – With the implementation of the 2 percent tax cap, the burden of unfunded mandates on local and Westchester County taxpayers has become nearly unbearable, a five member panel consisting of County Executive Rob Astorino and other...
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Newsday
Dan Janison
Thursday, April 26, 2012
 The creative contrivances that produced the latest State Senate district map went on full display Thursday before New York's top court -- and it all came out sounding pretty clever, in a warped,Albany-style way. 
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Ventura County Star
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. — ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The decades-old effort to reduce the influence of big money donors in New York politics through public financing of campaigns took a new, if familiar, step Tuesday. 
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

YNN
Nick Reisman
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
 NEW YORK STATE -- A bill that would adopt public financing for state political campaigns has been introduced by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a move that he says in an exclusive interview addresses the fundamental problem in modern day elections...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Daily News
Celeste Katz
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
 Silver and Assembly Elections Committee Chairman Michael Cusick of Staten Island introduced legislation creating a voluntary public finance system for state offices. It would allow qualified candidates to receive matching...
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Daily News
Bill Hammond
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
 Congratulations to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Braun for boiling everything that’s wrong with New York’s poisonous politics down to the essence. 
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Albany Times Union
Saturday, April 14, 2012
 ALBANY — A judge has turned down a petition from state Senate Democrats trying to block creation of a 63rd Senate district in New York. 
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Thomson Reuters
Jessica Dye
Friday, April 13, 2012
 NEW YORK, April 13 (Reuters) - A state judge on Friday held that New York can proceed with its plan to add a 63rd seat to the state Senate. 
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The Wall Street Journal
Jacob Gershman
Friday, April 13, 2012
 As fiscal fears in New York spread from Long Island to the Rust Belt, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is confronting the question of how to help municipal governments pull through the worst cash crunch in decades. 
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

The Empire
Colby Hamilton
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
 Like a sequel to a horror movie most people never saw in the first place, New York’s redistricting saga continues to play out in court rooms and administrative offices from Washington, DC and Albany. 
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Ithaca Journal
Joseph Spector
Sunday, April 8, 2012
 ALBANY -- From 1985 through 2004, it was a state Capitol tradition: April 1 would pass, and the state budget was not approved.In 2004, the budget went unresolved until Aug. 11, the latest in state history. In 2010, the record was almost surpassed:...
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Budget
Budget

Capital Tonight
Nick Reisman
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides are clearly unhappy with Monday’s Q-poll that included what they say is a leading question on transparency.The question was worded this way:“Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the Senate Republican and...
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Celeste Katz
Thursday, April 5, 2012
 NYPIRG's Bill "TechMagic" Mahoney has crunched the numbers on lobbyist spending for 2011, and the winner is... The Committee To Save New York. 
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Thursday, April 5, 2012
 A sharp-eyed follower of legal briefs noticed something interesting in last week’s reply papers in the still-simmering redistricting lawsuit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has retained outside counsel. 
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Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Thursday, April 5, 2012
ALBANY — While voters' love affair with Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues, a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University struck a note of concern: 76 percent of those surveyed are bothered by a lack of transparency...
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Capital Tonight
Nick Reisman
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reiterated today that there’s no talk of a pay raise, but gave a lengthy defense of a part-time Legislature that allows state lawmakers to collect an outside salary on top of their $79,500 base pay. 
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The Wall Street Journal
Michael Gormley
Monday, April 2, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. — New York's powerful ethics board won't release any record of its secret vote to hire a longtime aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as its $148,000-a-year executive director in a decision that raises wider concerns among good-...
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Ethics
Ethics

The Wall Street Journal
Michael Gormley
Monday, April 2, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. — New York's powerful ethics board won't release any record of its secret vote to hire a longtime aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as its $148,000-a-year executive director in a decision that raises wider concerns among good-...
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Newsday
Yancey Roy
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Political leaders took bows last week as New Yorkadopted a $132.6 billion budget before the deadline for the second straight year. Leaders said they achieved the feat because of a new spirit of cooperation permeating the Capitol.
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Budget
Budget

Queens Campaigner
Joe Anuta
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Queens politicians expect a lawsuit challenging the creation of a 63rd state Senate seat to be decided next month, and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) will then decide in which district she will run.
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Capital Tonight
Liz Benjamin
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
 Most of the criticism and challenges to the LATFOR redistricting plans have focused on the Senate maps, but there is at least one area of the state that has generated consternation on the Assembly side. 
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New York Times
Danny Hakim
Monday, March 26, 2012
 ALBANY — As the state moves toward legalizing full-scale casinos, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers have agreed to overhaul the regulation of gambling, concentrating power in a panel that would be largely controlled by the governor. 
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Crain's New York
Daniel Massey
Sunday, March 25, 2012
 During a radio interview last fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed, “I am the government.” He didn't mean to brag. But to those familiar with the inner workings of the Cuomo administration, his quip was simply a declaration of fact.
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Executive Powers
Executive Powers

WNYC
Colby Hamilton
Thursday, March 15, 2012
During his State of the State speech in January, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New Yorkers were living in a “state of denial” when it comes to “gaming” (or what most people consider gambling) in New York State.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Politicker
Colin Campbell
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
 On the eve of the court deadline for the Legislature to present their progress on state legislative redistricting, lawmakers in Albany are set to announce deals on the new boundaries and nearly every other major issue on the table tonight. A member...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Times
John Eligon
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
ALBANY — New York is poised to establish one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation, requiring people convicted of everything from fare beating to first-degree murder to provide samples of their DNA to the state.
 ALBANY — New York is poised to establish one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation, requiring people convicted of everything from fare beating to first-degree murder to provide samples of their DNA to the state.On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomoand state lawmakers were putting the finishing touches on a deal to establish a so-called all-crimes DNA database, a move that is supported by all of the state’s 62 district attorneys and 58 sheriffs, as well as 400 police chiefs. New York already collects DNA from convicted felons and some people convicted of misdemeanors, but prosecutors say collecting DNA from all people convicted of misdemeanors will help them identify suspects of more violent crimes, and, in some cases, exonerate people wrongly accused.“Every single time we’ve expanded the DNA database, we have shown how effective it is in convicting people who commit crimes, and we’ve also shown that it can be used to exonerate the innocent,” said Richard M. Aborn, the president of the Citizens Crime Commission.Mr. Cuomo has made expansion of the DNA database a top priority for the year. His spokesman, as well as Lisa Hurst, a forensic DNA consultant with the firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs, said New York would be the first state to require all criminals to submit DNA samples. The spokesman declined to comment on the state of negotiations, but a senior administration official said negotiators were “very close” to a deal.Lawmakers and officials briefed on the negotiations said the deal under discussion would allow defense lawyers, as well as prosecutors, access to the database. But they were still discussing the parameters of that access, and whether the database would be accompanied by other criminal justice measures intended to reduce wrongful convictions, as sought by the defense bar.The developing agreement on the DNA database would be part of a series of pacts that would resolve many of the key outstanding issues in the legislative session this year, including the state’s budget for the next year, new political districts for state legislators and a new pension plan that would reduce retirement benefits for future public employees.“We have the parameters of a deal,” Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, a Democrat from Brooklyn, said of the DNA bill that he is sponsoring.Negotiations are moving at an unusually brisk pace in the capital, as Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers face two sets of deadlines: a federal court has demanded an update on the Legislature’s redistricting progress by Thursday, and the governor and legislators are required by law to have a new budget in place by April 1.New York’s DNA database was created in the mid-1990s but applied only to those convicted of a limited number of crimes; the data collection has been expanded three times since then by the Legislature, most recently in 2006. Currently, DNA samples can be collected from people convicted of fewer than half of the crimes codified in state law, including all felonies and some misdemeanors. The measure would expand that to require that a DNA sample be submitted by all convicted criminals.The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., an advocate for expanding the database, wrote in a recent opinion article that taking DNA samples from those convicted of low-level crimes had proved to be effective. He said that since the state allowed prosecutors to collect DNA from individuals convicted of petty larceny, investigators had been able to identify people linked to 48 murders and 220 sexual assaults statewide.In one case prosecuted by Mr. Vance’s office, DNA from the butt of a cigarette smoked by Lerio Guerrero while he was being questioned for trespassing in Brooklyn last year linked him to a 1998 rape. Mr. Guerrero had been arrested several times in the interim, but none of his convictions were for crimes serious enough to warrant that he give a DNA sample.Prosecutors also argue that the database could be used to exonerate the wrongfully convicted by matching DNA in their cases to someone else. But the defense bar has argued that courts sometimes place onerous restrictions on gaining access to evidence after a conviction and has, therefore, urged the Legislature to make it easier for defense lawyers to get evidence and run tests against the database.“New York has a demonstrated problem with eyewitness misidentification and false confessions leading to wrongful convictions,” said Stephen Saloom, the policy director of the Innocence Project. “Any legislation that ignores the recommendations of those who’ve studied these issues is ignoring the heart of wrongful conviction reform needed in New York State.”The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, has pushed to allow defendants access to the database. “We need to see fairness in terms of discovery, in terms of a defendant or a, quote-unquote, wrongfully convicted person,” he said.The Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican, said he was not opposed to access provisions, as long as it was “done in a very tight and controlled way.” Senator Skelos did say he was against including broader so-called wrongful conviction protections in the bill, like videotaping interrogations.Some in the Assembly, led by Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn, have been pushing to include as part of the DNA bill a measure that would make it a violation, rather than a crime, to possess very small amounts of marijuana in public view, but it was not clear whether that provision would make it into the final language.“There’s absolutely no justification for expanding the database and simultaneously including illegitimate misdemeanor marijuana arrest convictions that are racially biased and fatally flawed,” he said.The discussions over the DNA database are running alongside quickening budget negotiations. As part of his spending plan, the governor is proposing to give newly hired public workers across the state, including in New York City, the choice between a less generous pension plan than is available to current employees or a defined contribution plan, which is similar to a 401(k).But the senior administration official said the governor was now prepared to drop the 401(k) option, which has been a lightning rod for criticism from labor unions, so long as legislative leaders agreed to his proposal to create a new pension tier that would provide reduced retirement benefits for future workers.Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers were also pursuing a compromise on redistricting that would allow legislative leaders to put in place their proposed district maps for the Senate and Assembly, but would create a bipartisan commission to redraw the state’s political map in the future, beginning after the 2020 census.
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Positive Rights
CBS
Michael Gormley
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo is willing to accept the Legislature's latest redistricting proposals, with conditions, and the Democrat is ready to force a late budget if lawmakers don't agree to his new pension proposal as part of the...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Newsday
Dan Janison
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
 Here's some sharp blowback to the recent Albany reapportionment actions, from independent-redistricting activist Bill Samuels of the New Roosevelt Initiative: 
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

The Wall Street Journal
Jacob Gershman
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
 Albany lawmakers took another stab at redrawing state political lines, presenting Gov.Andrew Cuomo with a revised set of maps that they hope will win his approval and avoid a court intervention. 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Daily News
Bill Hammond
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
 The closer you look at Gov. Cuomo’s proposed gerrymandering deal with the Legislature, the worse it gets. 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Daily News
Ken Lovett
Monday, March 12, 2012
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is resisting Gov. Cuomo's push for a constitutional amendment to legalize casinos — unless the measure spells out the exact locations of the gambling dens, insiders say.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Daily News
Kenneth Lovett
Monday, March 12, 2012
 The Assembly and Senate introduced bills late Sunday night on the new state boundaries as well as a constitutional amendment to reform the redistricting process for the future.The idea is to pass them by Wednesday in advance of a Thursday hearing...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

The Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 12, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is putting his popularity and his early record on the line as never before as the Legislature digs in for the first time over issues that will affect New Yorkers for the next 10 years. 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Columbia News Service
Brian Dowling
Monday, March 12, 2012
Residents in Lakewood, Tenn., still call Aaron Prince regularly with questions about trash pickup or how to get a police unit to check around their house. But Prince hasn’t been the city’s mayor since May 2011, when the city disincorporated,...
This article investigates issues of identity associated with the dissolution of local governments.
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Capital Tonight
Liz Benjamin
Friday, March 9, 2012
 Concern that the special master’s congressional maps will cost Democrats seats in true blue New York has spurred House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to get involved in the state’s redistricting battle. 
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The Empire
Colby Hamilton
Thursday, March 8, 2012
 If the state constitution were a used car, would you want to see the Car Fax? While the constitution has been overhauled several times, no one has really looked under the hood since 1938. There are plenty of people who think it’s time for a...
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The Wall Street Journal
Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
 ALBANY, N.Y. — Nearly 2,000 union members demonstrated in Albany on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to block Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to cut the taxpayer cost of pensions for future public workers. 
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Pensions
Pensions

Daily News
Kenneth Lovett
Monday, March 5, 2012
 A formal fiscal analysis sent to Cuomo’s budget office on Jan. 31 by the organization that administers the pension system for teachers and school administrators included a section slugged “legal concerns.”
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Pensions
Pensions

Ithaca Journal
Ray Finger
Friday, March 2, 2012
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposals for Medicaid and pension mandate reform will save Chemung County taxpayers about $4 million over the next five years, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said Monday.Cuomo's pension reform proposal alone -- that would affect...
This article highlights how Governor Andrew Cuomo is utilizing Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. The Lieutenant Governor has been acting as a spokesman for the Governor's proposed policies.
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Ithaca Journal
Jon Campbell
Thursday, March 1, 2012
ALBANY -- The congressional maps released late Wednesday would upend the state's political landscape, giving Monroe County more of its own seat and providing more compact districts in the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Times Union
Casey Seiler
Thursday, March 1, 2012
 ALBANY — A possible constitutional change to New York's redistricting process would create a 10-member independent panel to draw the state's political lines beginning in 2021, but would allow the Legislature to make final tweaks to...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Huffington Post
Michael Gormley
Thursday, March 1, 2012
The record of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first online chat with New Yorkers shows the Democrat skipped an onslaught of increasingly pointed questions about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and some other thorny issues and criticism.
Relevant because hydrofracking is one of the foremost environmental concerns in New York today.
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Environment
Environment

New York Observer
Colin Campbell
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
As the redistricting battle between Albany and the courts moves forward this afternoon, the judge ruled the courts will accept and consider Congressional redistricting proposals submitted by the public.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Times Union
James M Odato
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
 The operators of the nine racinos statewide claim they will build up their enterprises in ways that would generate $3.3 billion in economic output in New York including 17,400 jobs — “if a constitutional amendment was passed to allow...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

12 Action News
Brian Mercer
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
More than 300 jobs could be on the way to Tioga County, but it all hinges on an amendment to New York's Constitution.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Ithaca Journal
Jon Campbell
Sunday, February 26, 2012
 Lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo face enormous pressure from lobbyists and advocates this year to finally settle a pair of perennially fractious Capitol debates: How to reform the state's redistricting process and whether casino gambling should...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Press Connects
Jon Campbell
Saturday, February 25, 2012
 Lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo face enormous pressure from lobbyists and advocates this year to finally settle a pair of perennially fractious Capitol debates: How to reform the state's redistricting process, and whether casino gambling should...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York court decision has bolstered a movement among towns determined to prevent the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas within their borders.A state Supreme Court justice on Tuesday upheld the town of...
This article highlights the tension between State Government, and Home rule.  In this instance a judge ruled that the Town of Dryden's right of home rule trumps the powers of the State with regards to its ability to locally decide if hydrolic fracturing for natural gas can take place within the Town.
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Home Rule
Home Rule

Capital Tonight
Nick Reisman
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
 That’s the main question here at the Capitol as we continue to parse through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s words on the subject. 
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The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
A federal appeals court is refusing to dismiss a challenge to redistricting in New York.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Capital New York
Josh Benson
Monday, February 20, 2012
Andrew Cuomo has a test coming up, and he's setting himself up for a deferral. It won't matter much to him, politically. 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

The Saratogian
Paul Post
Sunday, February 19, 2012
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A study released last week says the state’s nine racetrack casinos have a nearly $2 billion economic impact and account for more than 17,000 jobs.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Friday, February 17, 2012
ALBANY — In his proposed budget for next year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has inserted language that would allow him to move money between state agencies without legislative approval.He has included a clause that would allow him to give out some...
This article highlights the Governor's attempt to concentrate more power within the executive branch.
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Executive Powers
Executive Powers

New York Observer
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Mr. Cuomo however said that if they don’t get a Constitutional amendment, this [redistricting] problem will keep occurring.\
The article is relevant because it specifically discusses how a constitutional amendment could solve the redistricting problem, while noting Gov. Cuomo's opposition to it.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Capital New York
Reid Pillifant
Thursday, February 16, 2012
"What people forget when they get all hyped up about it is the legislature has the legal authority to draw the lines," said Cuomo, who added that "ultimately the court will decide if they are legal."
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Capital Confidential
Jimmy Vielkind
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
“Do you realize that people in New York State can give campaign contributions in New York State political races that are 12 times the legal limit for gifts to the president of the United States?” Said Fritz Schwarz, chief counsel at NYU...
The article is relevant because it discusses how political donors, through NY LEAD (New York Leadership for Accountable Government), have banded together to press for broad campaign finance reform.
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Anthony Kammer
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The report showed that 127 donors are responsible for over $16.8 million in state level political contributions. Governor Cuomo came out with $2,959,426.04, and 15 of the top 25 donations went to the NY State Senate Republican Campaign Committee at a...
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

Thomson Reuters
Jessica Dye
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
 NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to hear a direct appeal of a ruling upholding the constitutionality of a state law requiring prison inmates to be counted as residents of their hometown for the purpose...
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New York One (NY1) News
Bobby Cuza
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
“Candidates right now who are thinking about running for office, who are thinking about challenging their incumbents in a primary election, have no idea where these lines are going to be,” said Daniel Burstein, an attorney in a federal...
The article is relevant because it discusses how the statewide redistricting process leads to unacceptable and unfair outcomes.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
 A federal judge called for a legal special master tooversee the state’s redistricting process, responding to a legal challenge to the process currently controlled by a legislative task force called LATFOR. (DN/NYT) 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Crain's New York
Jeremy Smerd
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
 It's a running joke in Albany that would be funny if it was not true: corruption is a leading cause of turnover in the state Legislature.
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Ethics
Ethics

Anna Pycior
Sunday, February 12, 2012
“That’s correct,” he says? How about that’s an affront to the democratic process, that’s another reason for New Yorkers and Americans to distrust the “politicians behind the curtains?”
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Utica Observer-Dispatch
Michael Gormley
Friday, February 10, 2012
 A provision in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget amendments could greatly expand the power of state and local governments to borrow money with less independent oversight while potentially avoiding approval from voters or the Legislature,...
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Budget
Budget

Advocate
Julie Bolcer
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The Rev. Al Sharpton, a prominent voice among African Americans, has cut a marriage equality video for the Human Rights Campaign that speaks to the clergy members and African Americans who will be critical to passing legislation in Maryland.
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Marriage
Marriage

lohud.com
Joseph Spector
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
 Bill Samuels, the chairman of the New Roosevelt Foundation, will be our guest in the Gannett Albany Bureau studio today at 1 p.m. to discuss a new initiative, the Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution, that will push for reforms...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

Buffalo News
Tom Precious
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
 ALBANY -- Democrats and Republicans are moving to beat back an attempt by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to grab more power over the state's fiscal affairs and do an end run around long-standing checks and balances. 
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Budget
Budget

Daily News
Bill Hammond
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
 When it comes to cleaning up Albany’s fund-raising swamp, Gov. Cuomo’s lips say, “Reform, reform, reform.” 
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City & State
Lauria Nahmias
Monday, February 6, 2012
How politicians danced around their promise to make redistricting an independent process
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Auburn Pub
Robert Harding
Sunday, February 5, 2012
 What do you get when you cross a former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, the current Assembly Republican leader and a college professor?A coalition of opposites, of course.
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

The Wall Street Journal
Jacob Gershman
Monday, January 30, 2012
 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is quietly seeking more leeway to hire and transfer state employees outside of a competitive process, a move unions say would weaken civil service rules designed to prevent patronage. 
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Civil Service
Civil Service

Long Island Press
Michael Gormley
Saturday, January 28, 2012
 The organizers of the group called Citizens' Committee for an Effective Constitution say it's a key many elected officials over 45 years — most of whom ran as "reformers" — and the special interests who fund them don...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Friday, January 27, 2012
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo defended his decision to participate in a closed-door discussion of infrastructure policy on Friday before an audience of deep-pocketed donors, some of whom paid $50,000 or more to attend, at the same time that his...
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The Wall Street Journal
Jacob Gershman
Friday, January 27, 2012
 A legislative proposal to redraw New York's political map—a once-in-a-decade event—drew a stern rebuke Thursday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who threatened to veto the plan that critics said was tainted by partisan agendas. 
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Capital Confidential
Jimmy Vielkind
Thursday, January 26, 2012
 Assemblyman Jack McEneny, an Albany Democrat who is LATFOR’s co-chair, also brushed off the criticism. “The same people who said that before the lines were drawn are being consistent, and it all depends on what your definition of...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

City & State
Thursday, January 26, 2012
“While judging this set of proposed maps by this yardstick, the Senate’s maps are clearly the most gerrymandered lines in recent New York history,” Mahoney said in an email sent to reporters. “The Assembly’s are slightly...
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New Paltz Times
Erin Quinn
Thursday, January 26, 2012
This clip highlights the complexity of choices and structures that local municipalities are faced with when considering restructuring.  In this case, the option that the municipalities had decided was the best for them did not conform with the language of the State Law designed to facilitate restructuring.
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New York Times
Thomas Kaplan
Monday, January 23, 2012
The lawmakers in charge of redistricting defend their efforts, noting that the state’s Constitution makes the redrawing of legislative districts the responsibility of the Legislature.
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Redistricting
Redistricting

New York Post
Monday, January 23, 2012
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is endorsing a pay hike for state lawmakers this year, but he conceded legislators must end their reputation for dysfunction in order to earn one. 
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Politico
M. J. Lee
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Organizers behind the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker collected 1 million signatures to be submitted to the state’s Government Accountability Board on Tuesday, dwarfing the required number of names and virtually ensuring...
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Referendum
Referendum

Democrat and Chronicle
Michael Gormley
Monday, January 16, 2012
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the coming weeks will introduce a proposal that good-government advocates have long said would transform New York politics like nothing else: voluntary public funding of political campaigns.
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

LGBTQ Nation
Brody Levesque
Friday, January 13, 2012
It is heartening to see Democrats rally for a second charge on gay marriage after their failure to pass the measure in the days before Gov. Chris Christie took charge.
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Marriage
Marriage

Daily News
Matt Surte
Friday, January 13, 2012
Inmates have traditionally been included in county population totals when political districts are determined. But state Senate and Republican leaders reached a deal in December to count 46,043 prisoners in their home neighborhoods instead.
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City & State
Michael Keller
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Last week saw two significant events in the ongoing battle to redraw New York State’s electoral map. In the first, the legislature’s redistricting committee formally subtracted the state’s 60,000-plus prisoners from the population count...
This article is relevant both because of the implications of how we redistribute the count of prisoners within New York State, and if that process should be outlined in the Constitution, but also because of the different interpretations of the Constitution regarding the size of the State Senate itself.
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Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, D-Brooklyn, asked from the start of LATFOR's public hearings in July how many Senate districts would be created. He got no answer, and many good-government groups — including Common Cause, which submitted its own...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

The Republic
Michael Gormley
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Redistricting is the arcane process done every 10 years with new census data to redraw election districts that comply with population shifts, voter rights laws, and the state and federal constitutions. Good-government groups have long criticized it...
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Vote Up
Joseph Spector
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, defended the decision by Senate Republicans to add a 63rd Senate seat, saying Republicans are simply following the state constitution that outlines the number of seats based on the population.
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The Empire
Colby Hamilton
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
 Late in the workday last Friday the long-anticipated LATFOR bomb dropped. There was no press release or announcement. Instead, a word or two were changed on the committees website and a new link to a document were all that...
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Vote Up
Joseph Spector
Monday, January 9, 2012
Senate Republicans on Friday evening quietly put in paperwork to add a 63rd seat in the Senate, ostensibly aimed at helping their chances of retaining the majority in a newly drawn Senate in November.
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Capital Confidential
Jimmy Vielkind
Thursday, January 5, 2012
“I’m going to be sending you a bill on campaign finance reform that puts public financing, matched contributions, lower limits and increased enforcement at the Board of Elections,” Cuomo said at the end of his speech. “Let’s...
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The Oneida Daily Dispatch
Michael Gormley
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
“If the governor, the state Legislature and a majority of New Yorkers decide that the best course is to permit casino gambling in New York City, the Catskills, Saratoga, the Adirondacks and so on, that’s their choice,” Seneca Nation...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Democrat and Chronicle
Joseph Spector
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The Seneca Nation of Indians today said it’s starting a “statewide advocacy and advertising campaign” to promote the money it provides to the state and stress that it has exclusive gaming rights in western New York.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

The Saratogian
Paul Post
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in today’s State of the State Address, is likely to call for a constitutional amendment that would bring Las Vegas-style gambling to New York as a way to close the state’s budget gap.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Cara Matthews
Monday, January 2, 2012
"A panel charged with reducing unfunded state mandates on local governments is recommending steps to save $245 million, but its final report does not tackle some of what are considered New York's most onerous and costly mandates. The report...
"The report proposes a constitutional amendment to ban mandates that don't have funding attached. A statutory ban could be enacted while the constitutional amendment was being ratified."
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

Capital Tonight
Liz Benjamin
Friday, December 23, 2011
Cuomo, as you’ll recall, has threatened to veto any redistricting plan that is not drawn up by an independent commission, which doesn’t exist at this point. Rangel said he thinks it’s “not fair” to leave sitting members of...
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Redistricting
Redistricting

Capital New York
Azi Paybarah
Monday, December 19, 2011
"The top priority for Governor Cuomo in the 2012 legislative year must be campaign finance reform," said Bill Samuels in a statement. "He campaigned on it, released a detailed plan on how to reform the system in the state. Yet to date he...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

New York Times
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
There is, in his view, one thing holding back America, a legal but corrupt system of campaign finance. “Practically every important issue in American politics today is tied to this ‘one issue,’ ” he writes. Mr. Lessig’s...
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Albany Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Monday, December 12, 2011
ALBANY — Former prosecutors and businessmen, a retired senator and a district attorney will make up the state's new government ethics watchdog group.Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced the 14 members of the Joint Commission...
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics was established as a watchdog group under the Ethics Bill that passed earlier this year.  As the announcements are made as to who has been appointed to the commission, questions are being raised as to those decisions, and raising questions as to if a constitutional provision on ethics may be necessary to curtail the murky ethical standards that public officials are held to.
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Ethics
Ethics

Long Island Press
Michael Gormley
Monday, December 12, 2011
 “Three days of debate, everyone has an opinion, it’s entirely transparent, we never reach resolution,” Cuomo said. “I get 100 percent for transparency. I get zero for results.” 
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Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Monday, December 12, 2011
 ALBANY — Former prosecutors and businessmen, a retired senator and a district attorney will make up the state's new government ethics watchdog group. 
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Daily News
Bill Hammond
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
 What also gets lost is any respect for democratic procedure. Cuomo is apparently angling for lawmakers to take up and pass his tax reform — which, to be clear, he has yet to put in writing or share with the public — as early as this...
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The Record
Michael Gormley
Monday, December 5, 2011
“We should pursue a comprehensive gaming plan — recognizing the reality that New York is already in the gaming business,” Cuomo said. He called for the creation of “destination gaming locations,” which in past proposals from...
Cuomo wants to expand non-Indian gaming in New York State, but that would require a constitutional amendment.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Capital Confidential
Casey Seiler
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The four-page decision includes some tough language for the way things get done at the Capitol, including what the judge labels as “disingenuous” justifications from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for issuing a message of necessity that rushed the...
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Newsday
Yancey Roy
Monday, November 28, 2011
Handing a stinging defeat to Nassau County Republicans, the state's highest court Tuesday threw out new boundaries that the GOP drew for the county's 19 legislative districts this fall.
The current process of local redistricting does not offer the same protections from gerrymandering that the constitution establishes for state legislative and congressional districts.  A constitutional amendment would ensure fair redistricting practices that would minimize gerrymandering, and prevent lawsuits. Furthermore, it would standardize the process of redistricting, making it more transparent, and ensure that citizens have input as well. 
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lohud.com
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Unhappy with the current property-tax assessment system and tax-appeal process? Here are some ideas that have been floated: The 15 percent ruleStatewide revaluationIncrease appeal feesStandardize the grievance processAllow right of accessRequire...
One of the suggestions in this clip is to standardize assessment practices and statewide revaluation. This could level the playing field, and avoid challenges to the assessment.
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New York Observer
Robert Knakal
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Property tax relief entails more than a simple legislative dictate. It should require a broad examination of all those issues that drive up the cost of local government. That said, property tax caps should be real, with little room for creative...
In New York City, the system of property assessment is manipulated and changed so that the city can ensure constantly rising tax collections. Even with property values dropping 38% from 2007 - 2010 in New York City, the tax assessments continued to climb. A constitutional amendment that institutes an equitable and standardized assessment practice across the state would be more fair to the taxpayers of New York, especially in New York City.
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The Journal News: Politics on the Hudson
Joseph Spector
Friday, November 18, 2011
“About 20,000 just aren’t getting counted at all,” McEneny, who is co-chair of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, which is drawing the new legislative maps in time for the 2012 elections.The...
The New York State Constitution requires that all "inhabitants, excluding aliens" shall be counted.  Assemblyman Jack McEneny's assertion that the current law that provides for the counting of prisoners at their location prior to incarceration causes may cause the exclusion of 20,000 inhabitants from the redistricting process might mean the law is unconstitutional.
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New York Times
Dan Bilefsky
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The new Resorts World casino opening Friday, with its flashing multicolored ceiling lights, electronic baccarat tables presided over by robotic dealers and a fake twinkling night sky created from satellite images of the sky over 42nd Street, seeks to...
Casino style gambling already exists in New York.  Ammending the Constitution would clarify the process of creating gambling establishments and bring jobs and tax revenues to New York.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

The Watertown Daily Times
Steve Virkler
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
"Mr. Kolb, who was introduced by Assemblyman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, said such a convention could address any issues that delegates wish. Personally, he would like to see things like nonpartisan redistricting, term limits for...
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Convention
Convention

The Watertown Daily Times
Matthew Bultman
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Dissolution was again the topic of discussion Tuesday night in the village, but this time it featured speakers with fresh perspective on the issue.Three leaders from the village of Seneca Falls — the mayor, village administrator and attorney...
This clip highlights some of the trepidation and uncertianty involved in the current process of local government restructuring.
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The Empire
Colby Hamilton
Friday, September 30, 2011
 Medicaid costs New York a lot of money. The state spends more than $53 billion a year to care for 4.7 million low-income people. That represents about 40 percent of the state’s entire budget. 
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

New York Post
David Seifman
Monday, September 12, 2011
The campaign manager for Rafael Espinal -- a candidate in tomorrow’s special election to replace state Assemblyman Darryl Towns -- got himself named a site monitor for the Board of Elections in the very same Brooklyn district where he is running.
This is an example of how the partisan appointment process preserved in the New York State Board of Elections by the New York State Constitution can allow one candidate to gain a perceived or actual advantage over others.
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Elections
Elections

Albany Times Union
Jimmy Vielkind
Saturday, September 3, 2011
ALBANY -- Casino advocates are already paying over $100,000 for lobbying firms as they push for the long-sought holy grail of gaming: a constitutional amendment authorizing full-fledged gaming houses in the Empire State.The field is politically...
Lobbying firms are currently pushing for a constitutional ammendment to allow for casino gambling in New York.
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

The Empire
Colby Hamilton
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The state’s highest court today overturned a lower court’s ruling, negating new county legislature lines drawn by the Republican majority in Nassau county. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals this morning said the redistricting plan...
Nassau County's "temporary" redistricting plan was struck down by the courts. A constitutional amendment could ensure that redistricting is done right, the first time.
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Post Star
Editorial
Saturday, August 20, 2011
"Casinos also tend to redistribute money, rather than generate new money. In many cases, the money people would otherwise spend at the race track or the mall or other area attractions would be spent at the casino, generating little net gain."...
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Casino Gambling
Casino Gambling

Newsday
Dan Janison
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Suffolk has become a testing ground in a statewide crackdown on pension violators -- the result of a special arrangement between state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and county Comptroller Joseph Sawicki.
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Pensions
Pensions

Crain's New York
Greg David
Sunday, June 26, 2011
 What is Gov. Andrew Cuomo going to do for an encore? It's actually a serious question. And his second act is likely to be just as hard, or harder, than the first one.  
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

Capital Tonight
Nick Reisman
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier today sent a message of necessity to the Democratic-led Assembly, allowing them to bypass the normal three-day aging process and pass the bill today.
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Buffalo News
Friday, June 10, 2011
“New York State government is dysfunctional,” Assemblyman John D. Ceretto said here this week, “but we can put government back in the hands of the people if we can get a proposition for a ‘People’s Constitutional Convention...
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Convention
Convention

Vote Up
Jon Campbell
Thursday, June 9, 2011
A new bill would overhaul the state’s campaign finance laws for candidates seeking the state comptroller’s office, enforcing strict spending limits and capping contributions.
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Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance

New York Times
Editorial Board
Monday, June 6, 2011
After years of scandal in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders in the Legislature have managed to reach agreement on an ethics billthat could help change how business is done in New York’s chronically secretive and corrupt state capital.
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Ethics
Ethics

Democrat and Chronicle
Jon Campbell
Monday, May 16, 2011
As it stands, lines are redrawn by state legislators every ten years using fresh population figures from the U.S. Census. Critics say lawmakers have used that to their advantage by creatively drawing districts to protect individual legislators and...
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EffectiveNY
EffectiveNY

New York Times
Peter Applebome
Sunday, May 15, 2011
MINEOLA, N.Y. — Even by the raucous standards of Nassau County politics, it was a wild day. Almost 200 residents, mostly minorities, trooped into the county office building for 10 hours last Monday to testify, shout, wave placards and threaten to...
The current process of local redistricting does not offer the same protections from gerrymandering that the constitution establishes for state legislative and congressional districts.  A constitutional amendment would ensure fair redistricting practices that would minimize gerrymandering, and prevent lawsuits.
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Poughkeepsie Journal
Joshua Simons
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Dutchess County adopted a bi-partisan commission process for redistricting the county legislature in 2009. But after the legislative majority changed from Democrat to Republican it abandoned this idea, returning the task to the legislature itself. ...
Local laws that call for independent redistricting can easily be un-done when opponents have a majority in the legislature.  A constitutional amendment would ensure bi-partisan redistricting.
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Times Union
Casey Seiler
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sounding the call for fiscal reform, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today renewed his appeal for series of actions to prohibit the use of gimmicks to balance the state budget, increase transparency in the state’s budget process and...
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Budget
Budget

New York Times
Winnie Hu
Thursday, April 14, 2011
"By their count, these officials say, they are forced to abide by more than 250 unfunded state mandates a year, many of which can no longer be sustained.  School officials have been complaining about these imposed costs for years, but their...
This 2011 news article reported in the New York Times illustrates the extent to which local school districts must endure unfunded state mandates -- 250 on an annual basis, according to the article -- and how complying with these myriad unfunded state mandates consumes a great deal of time, money and effort on the part of local school districts who are already facing reductions in state aid to education.
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Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded Mandates

New York Observer
Azi Paybarah
Friday, April 1, 2011
A “message of necessity” from the governor’s office allows legislators to temporarily do away with the three-day aging requirement. As the name of the memo suggests, there’s a “necessity” for sometime voting on things...
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Buffalo News
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Andrew M. Cuomo has looked westward for his running mate on the Democratic gubernatorial ticket, tapping the mayor of the state's third-largest city — a non-career  politician who just happens to be good at politics. Robert J. Duffy, mayor...
This news clip reports how Governor Andrew Cuomo, and his running mate, Robert Duffy, were accepted as candidates at the party convention, and avoided the need for a primary election for either of the positions.
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Daily News
Glenn Blain
Thursday, July 8, 2010
ALBANY - Gov. Paterson put his vetoes in the hands of the Legislature on Wednesday.Paterson, almost daring the Legislature to try and override him, made good on his promise to reject lawmakers' added spending and sent nearly 6,700 signed veto...
This article demonstrates how the Governor ccan vigarously use the line-item veto on the State Budget to gain leverage over the legislature.
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Executive Powers
Executive Powers

New York Post
Brendan Scott
Thursday, June 17, 2010
 Gov. Paterson played headmaster yesterday and ordered reluctant lawmakers to hand in a balanced budget in two weeks -- or else.
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On-Time Budgets
On-Time Budgets

New York Times
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
ALBANY — Nearly a year ago, Gov. David A. Paterson went to court to fight for his appointment of Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor, a man whose acumen and experience the governor said could help the state weather its financial challenges.On...
This clip highlights how the Lieutenant Governor's involvement in policy making under the current constitution is at the discretion of the Governor.  Governor Patterson initially Lieutenant Governor Ravitch an unprecedented role in the development of the budget plan, but later disagreed with Ravitch's plan to close the $9.2 billion gap.
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WQXR
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
New York Governor David Paterson is releasing his next round of cuts in several budget bills, saying he hopes to avoid another down-to-the-wire showdown with New York's lawmakers over next week's emergency spending bill.
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On-Time Budgets
On-Time Budgets

New York Post
Fredric Dicker
Monday, June 7, 2010
 If state lawmakers think today's vote on slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in health-care spending from the state budget is a tough one, wait until next Monday. It'll only get worse. That's the message from Gov. Paterson...
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On-Time Budgets
On-Time Budgets

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
David Paterson announced that he will include furloughs for state workers in the next emergency budget extender.
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On-Time Budgets
On-Time Budgets

Times Union
Monday, January 11, 2010
"Recently published year-end retrospectives universally agree: State government in New York reached a new low of dysfunction and nonperformance in 2009. Cries were heard from every quarter: Throw all the rascals out. But in truth, only a state...
This opinion piece from 2010 in the Times Union posts some of the strongest arguments to date in favor of convening a State Constitutional Convention and refutes many of the arguments advanced by opponents of a Constitutional Convention. 
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Convention
Convention

Times Union
Michael Gormley
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
 "Kolb, of Canandaigua, seeks to petition for a constitutional convention run by delegates who aren't politicians or part of special interests to change how the Legislature operates. That could include term limits and other measures that he...
This news article by Mike Gormley of the Associated Press marked the beginning of a statewide series of news coverage of Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb's push for convening a "People's Constitutional Convention" to reform state government.
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Convention
Convention

New York Times
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
n a stunning reversal, New York State’s highest court on Tuesday upheld Gov. David A. Paterson‘s authority to appoint a lieutenant governor.Though the decision was divided — four judges agreed that Mr. Paterson exercised proper...
The New York State Constitution does not provide for if and how a vacancy inthe office Lieutenant Governor should be filled.  When Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned and David Paterson became Governor, the issue was raised over if the Governor had the authority to appoint his replacement.  The court case affirment that the governor does have this right, it is a matter that customarily would be adressed in the State Constitution.
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Slate
Eliot Spitzer
Friday, September 4, 2009
Two policy objectives drive campaign finance reform: first, limiting the flow of dollars to, or expenditures on behalf of, any candidate in a way that could be—in actuality or perception—a quid pro quo; and second, limiting the impact that...
This article speaks in support of what the Supreme Court found in the Citizens United case, and makes the case that corporations and unions should not be limited in the amount of money they spend on political speech.
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New York Times
Danny Hakim
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Gov. David A. Paterson named Richard Ravitch, a Democratic lawyer with a career in government dating back a half century, as the state’s lieutenant governor on Wednesday.Mr. Paterson said Mr. Ravitch, 76, would bring stability to the capital and...
The New York State Constitution not provide for a method of filling a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor.  The Constitution also does not fix the size of the State Senate, but provides that the Lieutenant Governor "shall be the president of the senate but shall have only a casting vote therein." (Article IV, §6).  In 2009, a perfect storm appeared where there was both a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor's Office, and a deadlock (31-31) in the Senate.  Governor David Patterson appointed Richard Ravitch to the office of Lieutenant Governor to solve this problem.
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Daily Messenger
Michael Hill
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The Prison Policy Initiative identified 15 counties in the state, plus New York City, that rely on Census tallies including prisoners when they draw lines for county legislative districts or weight the votes for county boards of supervisors (county...
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New York Observer
Azi Paybarah
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Among Spitzer's proposed reforms, a comprehensive list of which the administration released today for the first time, includes the lowering of campaign contributions for all state officials, increased penalties for violating contribution limits, and...
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New York Times
Tuesday, September 8, 1987
"Ironically, because the voters in New York State have no power of initiative, no matter how many signatures We the People collects - and so far the total is about 30,000 - petitions alone will never put any issue to a public vote.  The only...
This news article appeared in the New York Times back in 1987 and provides a linear perspective as to the decades of effort by certain grassroots citizen activists who have attempted -- and thus far been unsuccessful -- to get initiative and referendum enacted into law in New York State.
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Referendum
Referendum

Bill Samuels
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Bill Samuels, founder of the reform Albany organization New Roosevelt and co-founder of Effective NY, today called on Governor Cuomo to announce a specific plan for Campaign Finance Reform immediately and lead a concerted effort for its...
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