P.m. news Wednesday 5-7-14
Governor Cuomo yesterday honored 20 fallen police officers from law enforcement agencies across New York State, including 5 who died in 2013 in the line of duty. The names of the 20 officers join the 1,340 others who have been inscribed in the black granite walls of the Police Officers’ Memorial, which represents 140 police agencies statewide and five federal agencies. More than 400 people attended the remembrance ceremony, which was held at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
A bill that would require labels on food products containing ingredients from genetically modified crops has passed a hurdle in the state Assembly. The Assembly’s Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee endorsed the measure. A vote of the full Assembly has not been scheduled. The bill would apply to genetically modified fruits, vegetables and processed foods, as well as items that contain ingredients like oil or sugar, that are derived from genetically engineered crops.
Legislation before state lawmakers would prohibit magazine publishers from automatically renewing a customer’s subscription without their consent. The bill is an attempt to protect consumers, by outlawing the practice by some publishers of requiring a reader to notify them, if they do not want their subscription renewed. Identical versions of the legislation have been introduced in both the Senate and the Assembly. No votes on the legislation have been scheduled
Richard Ball was confirmed by the State Senate as New York’s agriculture commissioner. The Senate completed Ball’s confirmation yesterday, he had been serving as acting commissioner since January. Ball has owned a 200-acre Schoharie County Farm for 2 decades & is a former board member of the New York Farm Bureau.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino made a stop in Broome County yesterday advocating for natural gas drilling. Astorino said the State DEC reports at least 25,000 jobs could be created through natural gas drilling. Astorino claims he will allow natural gas drilling, if he becomes Governor, but would put public health first by setting up the proper regulations before moving forward. Astorino is challenging Governor Cuomo in the upcoming November election.
New York has the distinction of being the worst state in the nation for retirees, according to a new study from Bankrate.com. New York has the highest tax rates in the nation as well as the 4th highest cost of living. The state ranked poorly when it came to the general well being of its retiree population, with poor grades for the quality of health care. New York State has implemented tax cuts in this year’s budget reaching $793 million this year and $1.7 billion next year.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $475,000 settlement with Office Depot, for improperly overcharging over 500 New York government entities. The investigation found that Office Depot had inadequate systems in place to ensure compliance with a promise to the state and overcharged by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The settlement ensures that every impacted agency will receive refunds for 100% of the overcharged amount. Office Depot was not renewed last year for a contract for office supplies with New York State.
The work at the Sidney High School Athletic Fields is continuing, with the weather cooperating so far. Sidney Superintendent Bill Christensen said that a good portion of the work will be completed after the current school year:
(Bill Christensen 5-7-14)
Christensen said that the renovations to the athletic fields and Auditorium should be completed by the fall.