Author Archives: Chris McKenna

Chris McKenna

Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999.

Metzger touts bills to help NY farmers

Sen. Jen Metzger promoted 10 bills on Friday that have cleared the Senate and are intended to help farmers and bolster New York’s agriculture industry. Most of the bills were approved that day or on Thursday, and all of them had unanimous support. Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat and chairwoman of Senate Agriculture Committee, sponsored seven […]

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Cahill, Schmitt break with their parties on dropping religious exemptions for vaccines

Two mid-Hudson lawmakers bucked their parties’ prevailing positions on Thursday as the state Legislature voted to end New York’s religious exemptions from mandatory school vaccinations in the midst of a measles outbreak that has affected parts of their region. Democrats largely supported removing the exemption from state law, arguing that religious freedom doesn’t extend to […]

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Skoufis bill would create state agency for the physically disabled

State lawmakers have passed a bill by Sen. James Skoufis that would re-establish a state agency that advocates on behalf of New Yorkers with physical disabilities – something that once existed in Albany but no longer does. The bill to create the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities was approved on May 29 […]

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Assembly set to pass bill allowing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants

The Assembly is expected to approve a bill on Tuesday that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, a politically charged proposal that faces uncertain prospects in the Senate in the closing weeks of the 2019 legislative session. Democratic lawmakers and advocates argue the Green Light bill would improve road safety by getting undocumented […]

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Metzger bill would expedite 6 a.m. primary start

The state Senate approved a bill by Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Rosendale, on Tuesday that would open polls six hours earlier in 49 New York counties – including Ulster and Sullivan – for Democratic voters casting ballots in the April 28 presidential primary. The legislation stems from an oversight in a provision in this year’s state […]

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Roscoe penalty waiver clears Legislature

One of three bills that would spare four local school districts – Newburgh, Chester, Monticello and Roscoe – a combined $19 million in state penalties for allegedly failing to submit reports for past building projects has now been approved by both legislative chambers in Albany. The Assembly voted unanimously for a bill waiving Roscoe School […]

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Cahill bill would let upstate cities opt for rent regulations

Among the proposals pending in Albany with three weeks to go in the session is a bill that would let upstate cities like Newburgh and Kingston opt for the same sort of restrictions on rent increases now in effect in New York City and offered to municipalities in three suburban counties. The bill, sponsored in […]

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Jacobson cheers passage of bill to ban “ghost guns”

The Assembly approved a bill on Monday that prohibits making, selling or possessing plastic guns to prevent the proliferation of firearms that can be made with 3-D printing technology and can evade metal detectors. The proposal had been approved the previous week by the Senate and now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature. […]

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Delgado touts bill to encourage hiring military spouses

Rep. Antonio Delgado introduced a bill with five Republican and Democratic co-sponsors on Wednesday that would encourage employers to hire the spouses of military service personnel by making a portion of those wages eligible for an existing tax credit for the hiring of veterans and other types of employees. “Military families make immense sacrifices for […]

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GOP lawmakers propose eliminating income tax for volunteer firefights, EMTs

At least four bills already were pending in Albany to increase by varying amounts the $200 credit that volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers currently can claim to lower their state income taxes. But a group of Republican lawmakers, most of whom had sponsored one or more of those credit-hiking bills, went for broke this month […]

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