Sunday, February 27, 2011
According to Nancy Kiyonaga, Director of Commision of Operations for the State Civil Service Department, the county’s paperwork was not lost. “It is not true that we lost it,” she said.
Kiyonaga said a draft had been sent to her office in 2009 and in 2010 the county sent an official resolution but had withdrawn it.
Earlier this month, the legislature postponed the resolution when questions surfaced about the deputy clerk. The latest resolution did not contain the position of deputy clerk.
The county clerk’s office has been shrouded in controversy and Democrats have called for a full audit and investigation into the office. It was recently revealed that the deputy clerk had been found guilty by the county Ethics Board of being employed with a county vendor that does business with the clerk’s office.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Owens says a budget isn't likely, but there may be a short-term extension of that agreement. Democrats and Republicans, though, are at odds over it.
With House Speaker John Boehner demanding major cuts, anywhere from $60 to $100 billion, before he'll agree to an extension. Owens says he's not opposed as long as the cuts are spread out evenly across the board.
"Most people could absorb a two and a half percent cut in current spending and manage just fine. It doesn't mean there isn't going to be pain but at least it's going to be shared pain and it's not based on ideological issues but based on economic issues," Owens said.
Owens and the House actually passed a deal very early Saturday morning, but any deal would also require Senate approval and the Senate isn't around Washington this week, drawing sharp criticism from some with the deadline so close. Criticism Owens says isn't fair.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
ALBANY -- Senate Democrats are furious over what they describe as the Republican majority's attempt to scuttle Gov. Andrew Cuomo's redistricting bill by using a new reading of the chamber's rules to prevent senators from co-sponsoring the legislation.
Democrats claim Majority Leader Dean Skelos, an avowed supporter of nonpartisan redistricting who has become lukewarm on the question since taking control of the chamber, is trying to create the illusion that Cuomo's plan is an orphan.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The bill's passage, however, is a big "if."
Upstate Senate districts — including the 48th, represented by Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, and the 47th, represented by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome — have fewer residents than the state average.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As reported in the Feb. 2 issue of The Valley News, Jerrett recently denied a portion of a public records request for documents that had been previously received, but misplaced.
A part of the FOIL request that was denied by Jerrett had not been provided previously.
He later amended his denial to state that those records would be made available in the near future.
The first denial was for the time sheets of Legislator Terry Wilbur, who previously worked in the office of the Oswego County Clerk.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
The dramatic flight from the state stalled a proposal that seeks to ease Wisconsin's budget woes by cutting the pay, benefits and collective bargaining rights of many government workers. Democrats who stayed in Madison scored their own victory, forcing the state Assembly to adjourn until at least Tuesday without taking a vote.
WASHINGTON - After an all-night session, House Republicans early Saturday morning passed legislation that would slash $60 billion in government spending between now and the end of September, setting up a showdown with President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto the measure.
The cuts, which were passed without a single Democratic vote, are aimed primarily at domestic social spending but also have policy goals -- going after the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Funding for the government runs out on March 4. Obama said on Tuesday he would veto the House version, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has promised to remove many of the bill's funding cuts. So Saturday's passage makes a government shutdown more likely, not less.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Oswego, NY -- Two Oswego County officials in the county clerk's office recently were investigated for ethics violations.
Georgiana M. Mansfield, first deputy county clerk, was found guilty of failing to disclose outside work she did for a company that is a vendor for the county. She paid a civil penalty of $2,452 to the county.
“I believe there’s some ethics conflicts,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said as he made a motion to postpone the resolution. “I really believe this legislature should not be moving forward with these resolutions.”
At issue is a contract renewal for data management services. Info Quick Solutions, Inc. of Liverpool currently holds the contract that is due for renewal (see related story). IQS was the only company to submit a proposal to provide the service.
The county solicited requests for proposals and the specifications named Mansfield and Bacon as the contact persons to provide answers to technical questions from prospective bidders. Allegations had surfaced that one or more employees of the county clerk’s office had also worked for IQS and a complaint was filed with the county ethics board.
New York Democratic Reps. Paul Tonko, Bill Owens and Nita Lowey are among the advocates for public broadcasting, which has a wide and diverse audience in the Capital Region. Tonko called the proposed cut “drastically extreme and painfully irresponsible.”
“These proposed cuts for Public Broadcasting threaten to silence stations all over the country that provide alternative, community-based programming and a strong, independent journalistic voice,” said Tonko.
Public broadcasting received $420 million in funding in 2010. In President Obama’s budget released Monday, it would receive $445 million in 2012, increasing to $451 million in 2014.
CPB gave more than $35 million of its federal funding to New York, of which Albany received $776,790.
CPB stations operate on both grants and allocations from the federal government combined with fundraising from private organizations and individuals. Tonko called it CPB stations’ ability to stay afloat in the tough economy a “stellar example as to the depth and meaning of public-private partnerships.”
Tonko claim that WMHT, which oversees NPR and PBS in his district, raised 3 to 4 times the private sector funds for ever public dollar invested in their most recent funding drive.
NPR and PBS have local stations set up all over the country, which contribute regional programming as well as sharing national programming. Many of the representatives said they worried the funding would lead to less regional reporting that people can’t get anywhere else.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said many stations, especially in metropolitan areas, would not suffer as much from the loss of funding, but those reaching rural and small-town areas wouldn’t be able to function.
“Public broadcasting is an electronic oasis for learning in what has been called the vast wasteland of commercial television,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
State Senate Democrats unveiled a comprehensive ethics package today and called on it to pass quickly in order to reinsure voters that an election season promise is being honored.
Minority leader John Sampson said that the Democrats' six-part bill that will cover a variety of ethically-dubious areas including client disclosure requirements, proper use of campaign funds, the need to eliminate the existing 'pay to play' attitude, and the creation of an independent redistricting commission.
"We need to make these changes because they have lost faith, trust and confidence in us," Sampson said. "If we ask them to tighten their belts, we have to tighten our belts."
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Consumer advocates fought hard against the law, which made it much more difficult for individuals to alleviate credit card debt in bankruptcy. This inability of homeowners to eliminate other debts, the New York Fed economists conclude, in turn made borrowers unable to pay off their mortgages, spurring foreclosures.
Despite opposition from public interest groups, the 2005 law easily cleared both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. In a paper released Tuesday, New York Fed researchers Donald P. Morgan, Benjamin Iverson and Matthew Botsch determined that the law sparked about 116,000 additional subprime mortgage foreclosures a year after going into effect.