The State Department of Taxation and Finance announced that it has issued $1 billion in refunds and reminded New Yorkers to use free e-filing options for faster refunds. Refunds have been issued to more than 1.1 million taxpayers – a 50% increase over last year’s total by this date, More than 97% of the 3.1 million returns received this year have been e-filed. The average refund for e-filers is issued in 22 days; refunds for paper filers can take 8 to 12 weeks. The average refund to date is $906.


Governor Cuomo’s controversial plan to have state prisoners get a free college education, as a way to cut down recidivism, has been widely ridiculed over the last week.  Area assemblyman Cliff Crouch said that his constituents don’t like it at all:


(Cliff Crouch 2-27-14)


State lawmakers went back to work this week, next week they will get revenue projections for the budget, and get ready to break into conference committees, crouch said that he expects another on-time budget this year.


A safety agreement between U.S. transportation officials and railroads that haul crude oil doesn’t go far enough to protect upstate communities, according to US Senator Charles Schumer.  Schumer said the agreement should be amended to phase out unsafe tanker cars and reduce train speed in populated areas. The agreement between the U.S. Transportation Department and the Association of American Railroads leaves out tens of thousands of tank cars known to split open during derailments. Trains pull hundreds of tankers of crude oil from North Dakota cross New York daily.  Environmental groups have called on the state DEC to do a full environmental impact study of the oil shipments.


The New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau said telemarketers kept, on average, 62 cents of every dollar they raised in New York in 2012, leaving 38 cents for the charities themselves. The bureau report shows for-profit telemarketers, operating in the state, kept more than $154 million out of $249 million that was intended to help those in need. Last year, the Attorney General’s Office subpoenaed records and launched investigations & shut down 3 charities and 1 fundraiser. In 459 of the 589 campaigns in the report, the charities retained less than half the money raised.


Commerce Chenango announced that on March 7th, they would host “Lunch with Senator Tom Libous in Greene.  The lunch will be held at the Sherwood Hotel at 25 Genesee Street, in Green beginning at 11:30 AM.  Senator Libous will talk with members on legislative action in Albany, RSVP’s are requested by tomorrow afternoon at 334-1402


State Senator Jim Seward announced senate approval of legislation he co-sponsors, extending a 2011 law to ensure the neediest public libraries can access and utilize special construction grants from the state.  Seward’s bill would extend key provisions of the public library construction grant program to March 31st 2020, they were scheduled to sunset in 2015. The bill has a sponsor in the state assembly.


The Cancer Services Program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties will offer free health screenings to women 40 and older that are uninsured, in partnership with the Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile screening coach.  The screenings will be available without charge to those women, 40 or older, who are without health insurance or underinsured on Wednesday, March 26th from 9:00am to 3:00pm at The Sidney Great American.  Appointments can be made toll-free at 1-888-345-0225.




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