Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cuomo, lawmakers face new, old battles in 2015

For Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers, the New Year brings a new set of complicated issues to tackle — and some old ones, too — as the Democratic governor kicks off his second term.

Cuomo wants to overhaul the state's system for evaluating teachers. Liberal groups want the Democrat to push for campaign finance reform and a higher minimum wage. The state's rent-control laws in New York City and its suburbs are set to expire in June, and extending them would also extend New York's property-tax cap. The Women's Equality Act, which has been the subject of vigorous debate at the state Capitol for two years, remains unsettled.

And to top it all off, the state has a $5 billion windfall from financial settlements with no shortage of suggestions on how to spend it. And Cuomo is pushing a state board to reopen its process for siting casinos amid pressure from Southern Tier officials who were angered at being passed over.

Welcome to another year at the Empire State's Capitol.

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