DEC Commissioner Discusses No Fracking Decision

After years of indecision, debate and protest, the long awaited decision on hydrofracking is finally made. Wednesday, members of Governor Cuomo’s cabinet explained that the state will move to ban the process. Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker found the process raises too many red flags. DEC Commissioner Joe Martens joined us to talk about the decision from his department’s position.

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Lago Developer Reaction To Winning Bid

The State Gaming Commission’s siting board Wednesday selected three locations. The Lago project in Seneca County as the winner for the Southern Tier region. Developer Thomas Wilmot and Robert W. Hayssen, the Chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, joined us to talk about the win and explain why they believe this will be a successful location.

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Anti-Hydrofracking Activists Celebrate

New York State will now move to ban high volume hydraulic fracturing – a controversial natural gas process that’s faced incredible scrutiny since it was proposed in the Southern Tier just years ago. Some of the people who have been fighting against fracking in New York joined us to discuss: Caitlin Pixley of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Sheila Bushkin of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, and, Julia Walsh and John Armstrong, both from Frack Action.

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Small Biz Leaders Unhappy With Fracking Ban

The National Federation of Independent Business released their Strategy for Main Street Success agenda. It’s a wish list for the state legislature that focuses on tax reform and improving the sustainability of small business in New York. NFIB New York State Director, Mike Durant, joined us to talk about this and also explain why the business community is unhappy with the state’s hydrofracking ban.

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Full Show – 12.16.14

A preview of the casino and hydrofracking announcements and NYPIRG pushing for sweeping reforms to state ethics laws. Plus interviews with Senator Brad Hoylman, NYSUT President Karen Magee, Lawsuit Reform Alliance’s Tom Stebbins and the Insiders, Bob Bellafiore and Steve Greenberg.

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Support For Transgender New Yorkers

The Cuomo administration Tuesday proposed removal of the Medicaid exclusion that has denied transgender New Yorkers treatment like gender reassignment surgery. This comes on the heels of a warning from the governor to private insurance companies that they will no longer be allowed to deny treatment to change a person’s gender if a doctor has deemed that treatment medically necessary. Manhattan Senator Brad Hoylman joined us to discuss.

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NYSUT President On Evaluations, Commissioner’s Departure

State Education Commissioner John King will be departing at the end of the month to join the Education Department in Washington DC. The search for his replacement is already underway. During his tenure, King has had a rocky relationship with the state’s largest teachers union, NYSUT. Nick Reisman sat down with the union’s president, Karen Magee, to talk more about this and other state education news.

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The Insiders

We’re winding down to the end of the year. Some possibly big casino announcements are expected Wednesday afternoon. We’re also still waiting on the Department of Health’s study on the controversial drilling process, hydrofracking. And then there’s the possibility of a special session which seems dead at this point, but you never do know in Albany. This week’s Insiders joined us to talk about all of this.

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New York Ranking In “Judicial Hellholes” Report

The American Tort Reform Foundation’s annual Judicial Hellholes report names a New York City court as the worst in the nation. The foundation calls the Asbestos Litigation court the most unfair because the judge has re-introduced punitive damages, allowed lawyers to consolidate un-related cases, and taken other steps that frequently resulted in multi-million dollar awards. And the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York says one of the biggest beneficiaries is the law firm where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver works. The alliance’s executive director, Tom Stebbins, joined us to discuss.

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Full Show – 12.15.14

Reports on the state Republicans meeting to plan longterm strategy, a state Regents meeting with reaction to the education commissioner vacancy, and a look back at the impact David Garth had on state and New York City careers. Plus interviews with Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, John Cahill, Assemblyman John McDonald and Carley Hill of Union Concrete.

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