This Week in New York State Government
Governor Cuomo Releases 245-page Book Outlining Second-term Agenda
The following piece is authored by Laura Nahmias of the Capital
Governor Andrew Cuomo released a 245-page book Thursday outlining his second-term policy agenda, after both his opponent and reporters said he had failed to set any clear goals for a second term.
The agenda includes 17 parts, including an outline for plans to increase state investment in infrastructure, expand New York’s global trade industry and create a loan forgiveness program for college students overwhelmed by student loans.
Governor Cuomo Announces First New York Green Bank Transactions
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first transactions of NY Green Bank to kick off clean energy projects across New York. These initial transactions, supported and agreed to in principle, will ultimately produce investments totaling more than $800 million. The projects, which are traditionally difficult for the private sector to finance, were made possible by NY Green Bank’s participation and are expected to result in an annual reduction of 575,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
Governor Cuomo Announces Modernization and Revitalization Plan for LaGuardia, JFK, Republic and Stewart Airports
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted Vice President Joe Biden at an event to unveil the Governor’s comprehensive plan to modernize and revitalize LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, Republic and Stewart International Airports – bringing them up to 21st Century standards for service, access and amenities. In January 2014, Governor Cuomo announced in his State of the State Address that the State would assume management responsibility for construction at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports to help break gridlock and make necessary improvements. The Governor’s plan expands on this initiative by announcing Master Plan Design Competitions for LaGuardia and JFK to revitalize those two major airports and help ensure that state-of-the-art facility upgrades proceed in a comprehensive, forward-looking manner. Additionally, the Governor’s plan will leverage the unique regional economic development opportunities at Republic and Stewart International Airports to further support job creation and growth in New York.
Governor Cuomo Announces Funding to Prevent Domestic Violence
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced New York is receiving more than $4.3 million for programs that serve domestic violence victims across the state. The funding is provided through the Federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which supports the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of programs to prevent domestic violence. It also provides immediate shelter and support services for all victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as specialized services for underserved populations throughout the state.
Comptroller DiNapoli: Financial Challenges Remain for State Despite Progress
New York State spending increased 3.3 percent to $137.5 billion while State-funded debt declined slightly to $63.3 billion, according to the annual report on the Financial Condition of New York State released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
MTA’s Fiscal Challenge: Fill the Gap, But not at Riders’ Expense
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report showing that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) short-term financial outlook has been buoyed by the economy, but that significant challenges remain, in particular closing the unprecedented funding gap in its proposed five-year capital program.
State Attorney General:
Attorney General Schneiderman Announces Arrest And Indictment Of Nonprofit Executives Charged In Kickback And Insurance Fraud Schemes
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest and indictment of the top two executives of Narco Freedom, a nonprofit organization that provides treatment for substance abuse to tens of thousands of New York City residents at ten locations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The organization’s director, Alan Brand, allegedly received personal kickbacks for housing some of Narco Freedom’s facilities in the buildings of a particular real estate developer. He then used the proceeds of these illegal dealings to fund a lavish lifestyle, according to today’s indictment. Alan Brand has been charged with bribery, grand larceny and money laundering for this part of the alleged scheme; if convicted, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Attorney General Schneiderman Issues Consumer Alert On Ebola-related Scams
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a consumer alert warning New Yorkers about scams related to fears of Ebola. Scammers commonly use moments of heightened public fear to perpetuate frauds, and reports have surfaced of fundraising scams claiming to benefit victims of Ebola. There have also been dubious offers by companies selling bogus Ebola preparedness kits and preventative medications while there is not an FDA-approved vaccine for Ebola.