New York constitutional convention vote raises hopes, fears

In From the Desk Of by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Newsday New York constitutional convention vote raises hopes, fears August 26, 2017 By Michael Gormley  michael.gormley@newsday.com   The 1777 convention, which wrote the first state constitution, rejected an attempt to end slavery. Members of New York’s first constitutional convention assemble in front of the courthouse in Kingston on April 20 of that year to listen to the convention secretary as he read …

Stop playing games with other people’s money

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

The following two sentences head up a column published in June by the Journal News, a Westchester County newspaper.  (1) “New York taxpayers will have to make up $700 million in tax breaks given to private companies, part of an economic machine that promises thousands of jobs in return.” (2) “It’s a system that revolves around more than 100 local, …

Even Fairy Tales have to come to an end

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Peter Pan, in the musical “Finding Neverland,” sprinkled stardust across a number of imaginative stages. Governor Cuomo is now on stage (wand in hand) focusing on revamping our infrastructure to 21st century standards, spending some $100 billion in construction costs. Central to this plan is the $20 billion Gateway Project that will connect travelers from across the Northeast with New …

Que Sera` Sera`

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Both former State Senator Dean Skelos and former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver are hoping to overcome their 2015 convictions based on the 2016 Supreme Court ruling reversing the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Not so for New York State Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. currently serving 14 more years’ in a federal prison. On July 7th, the U.S. Court of …

And the winner is!

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

If you watched the Emmy’s back in September you may well recall that the “Game of Thrones,” a fantasy drama television series won the Outstanding Drama Series award.  Why limit the idea of awards to just television? In Albany, over the past year or so, we witnessed an equal share of drama associated with the performance of our public officials’ …

Chaos Reigns Supreme in Albany

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

The end of another state legislative session has taken place in Albany. Analysts’ consider what happened   in June a bitter stew of bills that gets cooked up on deadline by backroom horse-trading, lobbyist pressure and little or no public debate, or review. Hardly new news, a time period known as “the big ugly.” How ugly? Upstate Republican Assemblyman Brian Kolb, …

Ethics Committee meets after 8 years

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

NY Post June 16, 2017 – The New York state Senate Ethics Committee marked a major accomplishment on Thursday: it met. In its first sessions in eight years, member argued about whether the vice chairs of committees in the upper chamber deserve the bonuses they’re getting in addition to their $79,500 salaries. Critics say the bonuses are only supposed to …

In The Courts

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Late N.Y. Lawmaker’s Conviction Is Tossed: The conviction of a late New York state lawmaker on charges of lying to the FBI has been overturned by an appeals court. The recent ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan also ordered the $50,000 in fines state Sen. Thomas Libous paid, be returned to his estate. The Republican …

WSJ – NYS Senate Democrats Gain Majority as GOP Keeps Control

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

A special election in Harlem on Tuesday May 23rd gave Democrats a majority in the New York state Senate to match its majority in the Assembly—but the party won’t have more power. Because of an alliance between nine Democratic senators and the GOP, Republicans will maintain control over the Senate, barring the Democratic Party from a coveted trifecta in Albany—controlling …