Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Scott Willis / WAER News

A task force created in November to prioritize the next round of potential improvements to the state fairgrounds has less than a month to presents its recommendations to Governor Cuomo.

The State Fair brought in a record-breaking 1.1 million people this year thanks in part to a $50 million investment made last year.   The 21-member task force is considering expanding transportation options and addressing the configuration of the parking lots among other things.  Spokesperson Dave Bullard is looking forward to the possibilities.  

Governor.ny.gov

Governor Cuomo on Sunday took a number of steps that he says are in reaction to the divisiveness in the nation,  that has intensified since the Presidential election. Cuomo, without mentioning President-elect Donald Trump by name, said the “ugly discourse” has made him “soul sick” for America. And he says there have been several instances in New York, including swastikas painted on a subway train and in a Buffalo suburb, along with a KKK flier placed on cars on Long Island.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Visitors arriving at the new main gate of the state fair Thursday afternoon might have spotted about 20 people holding signs denouncing an executive order issued by Governor Cuomo in June that they say supports Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights.  Ariel Gold is campaign organizer with Code Pink Women for Peace, and happened to get the governor’s ear as he left the fairgrounds.

"I said to the governor you need to rescind your executive order creating a blacklist for those boycotting Israel, and I told him the reasons why we boycott."

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

Until recently, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, director of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of the Cuomo administration. But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects, and is increasingly on the outs with the Cuomo Administration.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

Much of the $50 million  transformation of the state fairgrounds is beginning to wrap up, and Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped by Wednesday to take a look.  The governor also announced the launch of an effort to look into privatizing fairgrounds operations.

Cuomo says for decades, the fairgrounds has been a metaphor for Upstate New York.  It just wasn’t getting the investment it deserved.  Now, that’s changing.

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

The new state budget has been in place for nearly a week, but little attention has been paid to many of the items that are in it.  A government reform group says that’s by design.

  As soon as the state spending plan was passed, Governor Cuomo made the most of two items that have received the greatest public attention, a graduated increase in the state’s minimum wage, and a future paid family leave program, to take full effect in several years.

The budget passed on a Friday night. By Monday morning Cuomo was at a political rally touting his successes.

Cuomo says Minimum Wage Increase Will Include a "Pause"

Mar 30, 2016
Wally Gobetz Flickr

Governor Cuomo says his minimum wage proposal now includes a pause in the phase in to $15 after three years,  to reassess the health of the state’s economy.

In Cuomo’s  latest plan, the $15 an hour minimum wage would be fully phased in in three years in New York City. The phase in for Long Island and upstate would be longer.  And Cuomo says after the first three years, there would be a break  to analyze the effects of the wage hikes so far  on the economies of those regions.

Zac Wasielewski Flickr Page

A spokesperson from the New York Farm Bureau says members are concerned the Governor’s free tolls for the farming industry would only provide them with limited use. Right now the proposal covers smaller trucks. Although, the Farm Bureau’s Steve Ammerman feels the starting concept is making positive strides for the State’s farming industry.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Flickr

  State lawmakers and business leaders are clashing over a proposed expansion of the Paid Family Leave Program. Workers would be eligible to leave their jobs for 12 weeks to care for a new child or seriously ill relative. Governor Cuomo is a leading advocate for Paid Family Leave.

  A budget watch dog group is giving Governor Cuomo a mixed grade on his budget proposals, saying he’s done a good job reigning in spending, but is making a mistake by shifting some significant costs to New York City.

The Citizens Budget Commission analyzed Governor Cuomo’s budget plan, and gives him high marks for controlling spending, says the group’s Tammy Gamerman.

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