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Posts by Maureen McManus
Dec 4th - 8:56 pm
The NTSB is still reviewing Sunday’s deadly train derailment, and investigators announced yesterday that the engineer seemed to have lost focus as the train was approaching a sharp curve. That revelation has pushed a mechanism known as positive train control, which lets a train slow itself down in certain situations. PTC systems are supposed to be installed on all trains, but some operators still lack the funds for them. That’s just one of the safety concerns that’s been brought up in light of the crash. Earlier this week Liz spoke with Bruce Becker of the Empire State Passengers Association about the incident.
Dec 4th - 8:54 pm
As we get closer to the 2014 legislative session, the focus on tax reform is growing. Governor Cuomo has talked about putting tax cuts into next year’s budget. And as he considers his options, the Empire Center for Public Policy and the Tax Foundation are offering some recommendations. The foundation ranked New York as the worst business tax climate this year. Joseph Henchman, the vice president for state projects, explains how the state could move up in the rankings.
Dec 4th - 8:52 pm
The state assembly held a public hearing today on the Board of Parole’s procedures and effectiveness. Over the past 15 years, declining crime rates and new sentencing regulations have lead to fewer inmates being evaluated by the board. But advocates are not happy with what happens when prisoners do appear before the board. Assemblyman Jeff Aubry recaps the hearing and explains the concerns.
Dec 4th - 8:50 pm
Public campaign financing advocates are pretty pleased with the Moreland Commission’s report, which includes a call for the state to adopt a matching system similar to New York City’s. But the legislature is still divided on the issue, with Assembly Democrats in favor and Senate Republicans opposed. So the Fair Elections Coalition is turn its attention to lawmakers- and they’ve launched a new “penny a day” campaign to raise public awareness. Citizen Action’s Charlie Albanetti explains this latest effort.
Nov 27th - 8:56 pm
This Friday is guaranteed to be busy for workers at big box retailers and other stores as customers take advantage of sales. But some Walmart employees and labor advocates will show up for another reason- to ask the company to raise wages. They are planning rallies all around the country- including several here in New York. SEIU local 200 organizer Sean Collins discusses what’s at stake.
Nov 27th - 8:54 pm
A new report from a multi-state coalition suggests hydrofracking is not creating as many jobs as the gas industry has claimed. The Shale Research Collaborative looked at drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. It found that each new well lead to about four new jobs. And those jobs may disappear as prices fluctuate and production moves to other areas. The Fiscal Policy Institute helped put together the report. Executive director Frank Mauro explains the findings.
Nov 27th - 8:52 pm
The New York National Guard is helping distribute thousands of Thanksgiving meals this week. The supplies were donated by private companies.
But the state is in charge of getting them to the families that need them. That’s where the guard comes in. Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York, explains how the guard is involved, and what else they are doing to help New Yorkers.
Nov 27th - 8:50 pm
Since the implementation of Common Core standards, there has been been a lot of attention on testing and the role of the state Education Department.
But the federal government also plays a big role, and Rep. Chris Gibson argues it’s time for the federal government to scale back its involvement in schools – at least when it comes to standardized tests. He explains why.
Nov 20th - 8:56 pm
The Alliance for Quality Education is calling for a one point nine billion dollar increase in education funding for next year. The group released its list of 2014 legislative priorities Wednesday. That includes universal pre-k and finally fulling the requirements of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement. AQE executive director Billy Easton explains the goals, and why he’s optimistic about getting the legislature on board this year.
Nov 20th - 8:52 pm
The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus has been energized by Bill de Blasio’s landslide victory in the New York City mayoral contest, and now they’re hoping that momentum makes it’s way up to Albany.The caucus plans pushing lawmakers to pass more progressive legislation in 2014. Caucus chair Assemblyman Karim Camara explains what that includes.