Leanne Politi

Producer: Capital Tonight, In Focus Albany Leanne.Politi@charter.com


Posts by Leanne Politi

Santabarbara Pushes For Broadband Access

The third item announced on Governor Cuomo’s “Opportunity Agenda” is to create a broadband program to ensure access to high-speed internet for all New Yorkers by the year 2019. This is something people in rural areas are hoping for, including those in the 111th Assembly district. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara actually sent a letter to the governor last month calling on him to take this kind of action. He joined us to discuss.

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Infrastructure Needs Upstate

We got the first glimpse at infrastructure issues Governor Cuomo may include in his executive budget. At the Association for a Better New York’s breakfast Tuesday, he outlined plans for upgrading airports and expanding Metro North service, and also promised to avoid a toll hike on the thruway. But there are also some infrastructure issues he has not talked about at all. County Highway Superintendents Association President Timothy Hens and Town Highway Superintendents President Russell Page joined us to explain what they would like to hear from the governor.

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Full Show – 1.19.15

Reports on Cuomo’s proposal for youth and the justice system and Martin Luther King Day ceremonies held across the state. Plus interviews with Hunger Action Network’s Mark Dunlea, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence’s Paul McQuillen, Rural Schools Association’s David Little and Educators 4 Excellence’s Jonathan Schleifer.

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Advocates: Min Wage Hike Good But Not Good Enough

Governor Cuomo Sunday unveiled a two-tiered minimum wage proposal. New York City’s minimum wage would increase to $11.50 by 2016, while the rest of the state would see an increase to $10.50. This is some good news for advocates such as Mark Dunlea, who in the past 29 years with the Hunger Action Network has pushed for higher wages. But advocates say it’s still not high enough. Dunlea joined us to discuss and talk about his new career plans.

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Addressing Funding Inequality In Rural Schools

Education reform is expected to be a major point in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State and budget address. Teachers have been experiencing issues statewide. But there is also a separate set of problems educators in smaller, rural schools deal with. David Little from the Rural Schools Association joined us to explain.

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NYAGV Appoints Upstate Coordinator

The gun control law known as the SAFE Act passed the legislature just over two years ago, but the fight over it has not stopped, with opponents hosting several big protests calling for repeal. But there are also supports of the SAFE Act and other gun control measures. The group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence has also organized rallies at the capitol. And it recently appointed a new first upstate coordinator. Paul McQuillen joined us to explain what he’ll be working on.

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‘State Of The Classroom’ Report

Ahead of the Governor’s address Wednesday, Educators 4 Excellence, a teacher advocacy group, has released their “State of the Classroom” report. It includes several suggestions on education policy like changes to the teacher evaluation and tenure systems. Executive DirectorJonathan Schleifer joined us to discuss.

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Full Show – 1.16.15

Reports on what Governor Cuomo has unveiled ahead of his State of the State/budget address. Plus interviews with Empire Center’s EJ McMahon and Ron Deutsch of the Fiscal Policy Institute, Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, a panel on voting accessibility and our Reporter Roundtable.

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Debate Over Property Tax Credit

Cuomo’s proposed property tax relief plan – or circuit breaker – is, as expected, drawing praise from some and criticism from others. Those in favor of the governor’s plan say it’s a step in the right direction that will help working and middle class New Yorkers. But opponents say the plan produces the illusion of cost control without actually reducing costs. Plus, there’s the question of how we will pay for this. Ron Deutsch of the Fiscal Policy Institute and EJ McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy sat down to debate.

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New Prison Reform Bills

Two prison reform bills were introduced in the State Assembly earlier this week. A bill sponsored by Queens Assemblywoman Nily Rozic would ban solitary confinement for pregnant women and nursing mothers in prison. Another bill would set age and time restrictions on solitary confinement. That one is from Manhattan Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell who joined us from New York City to talk more about this legislation.

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