Author Archives: Chris McKenna

Senate passes bill to penalize state for late STAR checks

The state Senate voted unanimously on Monday for a bill that would require the state to pay interest to homeowners if it mails them their STAR checks late, a reaction to the debacle that ensued after the state made a major change last year in the two-decade-old tax relief system. The bill, sponsored by Republican [...]

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Skoufis supports United Monroe participation in KJ talks (updated)

Assemblyman James Skoufis issued a statement supporting the inclusion of United Monroe’s leaders in any private discussions among representatives of the Orange County Legislature, the Town of Monroe and the Village of Kiryas Joel about separating Kiryas Joel from Monroe by forming a new town consisting of Kiryas Joel and additional land. A petition to [...]

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Maloney revives bill to ensure adequate public defense

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announced this week that he and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey have re-introduced legislation that would reinforce the constitutional right to a legal defense by allowing class action suits against states that fail to adequately provide public defenders for the poor criminal suspects. The two Democrats first introduced the Equal [...]

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Brescia rebuked for removing two Dems from committees (updated)

Audience members assailed Orange County Legislature Chairman Steve Brescia at the Legislature’s February session for his removal of two Democratic lawmakers from key committees, saying that Matt Turnbull and Jeff Berkman were serving their constituents by asking questions on those panels and that Brescia’s decision to remove them “reeks of political retaliation,” as one speaker [...]

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Rockland GOP chairman accuses Skoufis of duplicity on lawmaker pay raises (updated)

An anonymous source quoted in the Daily News this week claimed that Assemblyman James Skoufis rebuked Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a private gathering for blocking lawmakers’ expected raises, prompting both Cuomo — in this source’s account – and Rockland County’s Republican chairman to brand Skoufis a hypocrite for staunchly opposing any increase in the Legislature’s [...]

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Law to cancel or cut pensions of convicted officals clears second hurdle

Here’s a form of corruption control in Albany that almost everyone could agree on. On the same day this week, both legislative chambers passed for the second time a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow judges to revoke or reduce the state pensions of certain public employees convicted of a felony related to his or [...]

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Column invokes frallen CIA officer from Monroe

An opinion column published this week in the New York Times and other publications invoked the memory of Gregg Wenzel, a Monroe native who died overseas while working for the CIA, in a scathing denunciation of the speech President Donald Trump gave to a gathering of CIA officers at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va. [...]

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Republicans reprise “Blue Lives Matter” bills

Republicans are renewing their push to protect first responders and law enforcement by making attacks against them a hate crime with the “Blue Lives Matter” bills. A Senate bill (S1114A) reintroduced on Jan. 6., pushes to include employment as a first responder in the categories used to define hate crimes. This would include law enforcement, [...]

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Assembly Democrats propose raising taxes on super-rich

Assembly Democrats this week proposed extending a higher tax rate on millionaires that is due to expire at the end of this year and taking it one step further, by juicing the rate upward for three different strata of super-rich New Yorkers. Under the proposal, the state’s marginal tax rate on income between $1 million [...]

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GOP senators criticize Cuomo’s free-tuition proposal

Two longtime Republican state senators representing parts of the Mid-Hudson region voiced strong misgivings this week about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push for free tuition for qualifying students at New York’s public colleges, a sign that the Senate’s ruling party may block or force significant changes in the Democratic governor’s splashiest priority if it’s going to [...]

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  • Blog Authors

    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. Read Full

    James Nani

    Covering Kingston and Ulster County Government.Been at the Record since August 2011. Tips: 845-340-4910 Read Full
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