Governor Cuomo will lead the first official state trade mission to Cuba since President Obama began the process to normalize diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. The upcoming trade mission will allow New York State officials and business leaders to explore opportunities and advance shared interests, the delegation will leave for Cuba on April 20th.
A Siena College poll released this week shows that 92% of polled New Yorkers believe that corruption in state government is a serious problem. 51% believe it’s very serious, & believe that more needs to be done to stop Albany Corruption. Governor Cuomo’s own ethics push includes new disclosure requirements for lawmakers as well as requiring receipts for travel expenses. Cuomo is attaching the measures to spending in the budget and said he’s fine with risking an on-time budget to get ethics done. However, 53% prefer an on time budget to ethics reforms getting done immediately, while 37% want ethics reforms tackled first, even if it means a late state budget in April.
School officials, education leaders, and state lawmakers are not happy with Governor Cuomo tying the issue of lawmaker’s ethics reforms to the state budget, and subsequently, state aid projections for school districts. Area Assemblyman Cliff crouch comments:
Lawmakers & the governor have until April 1st to get the deadline passed, they have managed to accomplish that feat for the last 4 years.
The Constitution Pipeline approval process inches closer to allowing Williams energy to go forward with the controversial pipeline proposal. Area Assemblyman Pete Lopez said that the pipeline proposal weighs heavy on his constituents minds:
Plans call for the construction of the natural gas pipeline to begin this summer, it would pass through Broome, Delaware & Schoharie counties locally from Pennsylvania to the Northeast states.
Governor Cuomo outlined his proposal to expand pre-K to 3-year olds in the State’s highest-need communities. The Governor is committing $25 million to fund this pilot program, for which more than 250 school districts will be eligible to apply. More than 5,000 seats are projected to be made available for 3-year olds across the State through this program. The State currently spends more than $750 million annually on pre-K for 4-year olds, supporting the education of 116,000 children.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that he would propose legislation in Albany to protect and reward employees who report information about illegal activity in the banking, insurance, and financial services industries. Currently, no law exists in New York State to protect or incentivize whistleblowers who report securities and other financial frauds. Schneiderman’s bill would provide financial compensation to whistleblowers whose tips lead to more than $1 million in penalties or settlement proceeds, it would also guarantee the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s information, and make it illegal for any employer to retaliate.