Tag: State Legislature

May 12

2014

Maziarz, Gallivan spending questioned

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Do state lawmakers pocket campaign contributions for personal use? The Moreland Commission, charged with investigating corruption in state government, was asking that question before Gov. Andrew Cuomo disbanded the panel in March. A couple dozen state legislators were on the commission’s radar screen because their campaign finance disclosure reports didn’t document some expenses or failed to itemize their spending to detail precisely what they spend their money on. Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, topped the commission’s list, with about $140,000 in unitemized spending over a six-year period, according to a report published today by City & State, a magazine and website that[...]

Posted 8 years ago

Apr 2

2013

The problem with Albany governing in the dark

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As if we needed more evidence that New York’s “Three Men in a Room” way of governing doesn’t work, there is this year’s legislative session. First there was the wham-bam bill to toughen gun control laws. Among other things, it limited magazines to no more than seven rounds of ammunition. Turns out that few such magazines are actually manufactured and sold. O0ps. The mistake was fixed – in more secret deliberations, of course. Then there is the budget passed last week that included two provisions that are looking worse with each passing day, now that they are actually seeing the light[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Mar 22

2012

Same as the Old Boss

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Ossified. Webster defines it as “hardened or conventional and opposed to change.” As in government in New York State. A cursory reading of the headlines might lead one to believe that governance in New York is starting to move in the right direction since Andrew Cuomo took up residence in the governor’s mansion. The state budget got passed on time, the income tax code was revised, gay marriage was approved. Indeed, by one measure—passing major legislation and spending packages—there has been progress. Paralysis has been eased. But the manner in which many key measures have been passed underscores just how[...]

Posted 11 years ago

Mar 14

2012

NY’s political dysfunction runs deep

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When it comes right down to it, state legislators only have to do a handful of things to earn their $79,500 salaries. Pass a budget. Vote on bills and appointments. And, once every 10 years, redraw election district boundaries for the U.S. House of Representatives and the state Senate and Assembly. It appears likely that lawmakers are going to let a federal judicial panel draw the lines for Congressional seats.  They continue to haggle over the lines for Senate and Assembly seats. The standoff is a stark reminder that Albany is still dysfunctional at a basic level. Politics is the[...]

Posted 11 years ago