Tue December 9, 2014

Support groups look at impact of Obama executive action on farmworkers


Support organizations that work with immigrant farm workers are trying to understand how President Obama's executive action affects people in Upstate New York.

"We've won a small victory but we really have a huge fight in front of us."

Carly Fox is an organizer with the Worker Justice Center of New York. She describes her reaction to Obama's announcement as bittersweet.

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Fri December 5, 2014

25 assault rifles and 1 armored truck: The hand-me-down military gear Syracuse police have

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 8:10 am

A mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, known as an MRAP. Designed for the military, surplus trucks have been given to police departments throughout the country, including Syracuse.
DJ Leln via Flickr

Some of the hand-me-down gear the Syracuse police force has received from the Pentagon is harmless - and in fact pretty useful: First aid kits, 40 pairs of long johns, 50 pairs of winter boots, even electrical tape and bungee cords.

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Mon December 1, 2014

Comptroller Warns: Don't Confuse $5b Windfall With a Surplus

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 3:32 pm

NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks to reporters at the State Capitol Monday.

The State Comptroller says the $5 billion dollars in extra money that New York is reaping from the bank settlements should not be viewed as a surplus, and should not be spent as though there will be more money coming in the future.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the $5 billion dollar plus pot of money due to settlements with banks and other financial institutions over alleged wrongdoing in the Wall Street crash should not be looked at as a budget surplus.

“I wouldn’t call it a surplus,” Di Napoli said. “It’s really more a windfall.”

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Thu November 13, 2014

Schools say New York surplus should fund additional aid

Bob Lowry, with the New York State School Council of superintendents, says schools are falling behind.

The board is made up of the state’s teachers, school boards, superintendents and the PTA, among others. They agree that school spending must increase significantly in the New Year. Chairman John Yagielski says the groups want $1.9 billion additional dollars for the 2015-16 school year.

They say even though the recession has eased and the state has a substantial surplus, schools are still getting less money than what they got before the 2008 stock market crash .

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Thu November 13, 2014

Watchdog groups urge prudence with state's $5.1 billion surplus

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:55 am

Gov. Andrew Cuomo meets with residents on Staten Island while on a tour highlighting the Superstorm Sandy recovery effort. (file photo)
governorandrewcuomo Flickr

New York state will begin 2015 with the largest one-time windfall budget surplus since the end of World War II, due to settlements with major banks after the financial crisis. Fiscal watchdog groups are warning lawmakers not to go crazy with ideas for how to spend it.

The settlements from Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers and other financial institutions have netted the state $5.1 billion in settlements over alleged misconduct during the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.

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