Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Paladino criticizes Silver's casino selection demands

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – He’s not necessarily aligning himself with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but Buffalo developer Carl Paladino this morning is blasting Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s demands that the Legislature have a say in the placement of any new casinos in New York.

Paladino, who ran against Cuomo in 2010, said Silver’s opposition is predictable to a plan by Cuomo to have a state gambling regulatory agency – and not the Legislature – run a bidding process if New York does change the constitution to permit up to seven new casinos in the state.

“We’ve seen this before. It’s the Albany two-step," Paladino said.

“Cuomo has this idea and now they want to share the pork. We know the Legislature doesn’t have a mind of its own. The only mind it has is Sheldon Silver,’’ he said, adding that political contributions will have to flow from casino developers to the Legislature if it has a say in the selection process. “This is a way for Silver to stay in the way so he can make the Assembly political nice and big,’’ Paladino said.


CitiStat live blog: Office of Strategic Planning, 11:45 a.m.

By Jill Terreri

The Office of Strategic Planning, led by Executive Director Brendan R. Mehaffy, will answer questions from Mayor Byron W. Brown's  CitiStat panel at 11:45 a.m. today. The department has been immersed in several major projects including overhauling the city's comprehensive zoning code, known as the Green Code, and planning for the Buffalo Sabres' Webster Block development, known as HarborCenter. The department also oversees the city's real estate department and has close ties with the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency. 

State Senate releases committee assignments

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – The Senate’s co-leaders have moved GOP Sen. Patrick Gallivan from his post as chairman of the Senate’s economic development committee, giving the job to a central New York Democrat who is part of a breakaway group of Democrats who have helped keep the Republicans partly in control of the chamber.

Gallivan said this morning he is fine with the decision because he will remain on the economic development panel and last night was named to chair the Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee.

“I’m excited about it. It’s essentially what I spent a career doing,’’ said Gallivan, who from 1998 to 2005 served as Erie County Sheriff following a 15-year career with the State Police. He also has a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University at Albany. Gallivan was also named as a member of the higher education and transportation committees.

Continue reading "State Senate releases committee assignments" »

Assembly names leadership and committee chair assignments

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Below is the list of Assembly leadership and committee chairs selected today by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for the new two-year legislative session.

Due mostly to the seniority-driven system in the chamber, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, a Kenmore Democrat, continues to be the only Western New York member of the Assembly to chair a standing committee; he keeps his longstanding post as chairman of economic development, which gives him a $18,000 annual stipend beyond his base pay of $79,500.

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes moves up a couple notches in the leadership title race to chair of the majority conference. She now will get a $16,500 stipend for that post, up from $11,000 she had been making as secretary of the majority conference. (Correction: her previous stipend was $12,500 as chair of the farm, food and nutrition task force.)

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, a Cheektowaga Democrat who represents a heavily suburban district, was named to head the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources; his stipend was not immediately clear this afternoon in a reading of a provision of state law pertaining to extra pay for legislators in certain posts. (Update: His stipend will be $12,500 annually.)

New committee chairs include Kevin Cahill, a Mid-Hudson Valley Democrat, of the Insurance Committee; Keith Wright, a Harlem Democrat, on the Housing Committee; Amy Paulin, a Westchester County Democrat, to the Energy Committee; Aileen Gunther, a Mid-Hudson Valley Democrat, to the Mental Health Committee, Charles Lavine, a Long Island Democrat, to the Ethics Committee, and Andrew Hevesi, a Queens Democrat and son of former state comptroller, Alan Hevesi, to the Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee.

Here is the full list of leadership and committee assignments: 



Sheldon Silver

Majority Leader

Joseph D. Morelle

Chair, Ways & Means

Herman D. Farrell, Jr.

Deputy Speaker

Earlene Hooper

Assistant Speaker

Rhoda S. Jacobs

Speaker Pro Tem

Jeffrion L. Aubry

Chair, Committee on Committees

Vivian E. Cook

Assistant Speaker Pro Tem

Harvey Weisenberg

Deputy Majority Leader

N. Nick Perry

Assistant Majority Leader

Dov Hikind

Majority Whip

William Colton

Deputy Majority Whip

Barbara M. Clark

Assistant Majority Whip

José Rivera

Chair, Majority Conference

Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes

Vice Chair, Majority Conference

Michelle Schimel

Secretary, Majority Conference

Michael G. DenDekker

Chair, Majority Program

Carmen E. Arroyo

Chair, Majority Steering

Barbara S. Lifton

Vice Chair, Majority Steering

Alec Brook-Krasny

Chair, House Operations

Alan N. Maisel


Standing Committees

Chair, Aging

Joan L. Millman

Chair, Agriculture

William Magee

Chair, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse

Steven Cymbrowitz

Chair, Banks

Annette M. Robinson

Chair, Children & Families

Donna A. Lupardo

Chair, Cities

Félix W. Ortiz

Chair, Codes

Joseph R. Lentol

Chair, Consumer Affairs

Jeffrey Dinowitz

Chair, Corporations, Authorities & Commissions

James F. Brennan

Chair, Correction

Daniel J. O'Donnell

Chair, Economic Development

Robin L. Schimminger

Chair, Education

Catherine T. Nolan

Chair, Election Law

Michael Cusick

Chair, Energy

Amy R. Paulin

Chair, Environmental Conservation

Robert K. Sweeney

Chair, Ethics & Guidance

Charles D. Lavine

Chair, Governmental Employees

Peter J. Abbate, Jr.

Chair, Governmental Operations

Steve Englebright

Chair, Health

Richard N. Gottfried

Chair, Higher Education

Deborah J. Glick

Chair, Housing

Keith L.T. Wright

Chair, Insurance

Kevin A. Cahill

Chair, Judiciary

Helene E. Weinstein

Chair, Labor

Carl E. Heastie

Chair, Libraries & Education Technology

Micah Z. Kellner

Chair, Local Governments

William B. Magnarelli

Chair, Mental Health

Aileen M. Gunther

Chair, Oversight, Analysis & Investigation

Andrew D. Hevesi

Chair, Racing & Wagering

J. Gary Pretlow

Chair, Real Property Taxation

Sandra R. Galef

Chair, Small Business

William Scarborough

Chair, Social Services

Michele R. Titus

Chair, Tourism

Margaret M. Markey

Chair, Transportation

David F. Gantt

Chair, Veterans' Affairs

Michael R. Benedetto


Task Forces & Legislative Commissions

Chair, Administrative Regulations Review

Kenneth P. Zebrowski

Chair, Farm, Food & Nutrition

Ellen C. Jaffee

Chair, Government Administration

Brian Kavanagh

Chair, New Americans

Nelson L. Castro

Chair, Reapportionment

Phil Ramos

Chair, Rural Resources

Dennis H. Gabryszak

Chair, Science & Technology

Linda B. Rosenthal

Chair, Skills Development & Career Education

Karim Camara

Chair, State-Federal Relations

Matthew J. Titone

Chair, Women's Issues

Addie J. Russell




Silver says Cuomo needs to give lawmakers more say over casino locations

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The Assembly’s leader today said the Legislature should have more input in deciding the locations of any possible future new casinos in New York instead of leaving the determinations, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed this week, to a new state agency controlled by the governor.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said exact regions of the state do not have to be specifically identified before his house takes up a second passage resolution to amend the constitution permitting up to seven new full-blown casinos in the state.

But he made clear that he does not back Cuomo’s plan to let the decision about where casinos might be located if the public okays a referendum allowing the casino developments to be left in the hands of a new Cuomo-controlled state agency that will regulate all forms of gambling in the state.

Continue reading "Silver says Cuomo needs to give lawmakers more say over casino locations" »

Cuomo to take to airwaves

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week will begin a statewide television advertising campaign touting his 2013 state budget plans and urging residents to push lawmakers to embrace his ideas.

The ad campaign, to cost several hundred thousand dollars in the initial buy, will discuss his plans for economic development, holding the line on new tax increases and various investment efforts, an aide said Wednesday.

The ad will be paid for partially by Cuomo’s 2014 campaign – which has $22 million in the bank – and the New York State Democratic Committee, which has $217,000 on hand in is central campaign account.

Continue reading "Cuomo to take to airwaves" »

Cuomo counts on casino money -- in the future

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The governor's plan to have three new casinos built upstate is "one of the most exciting opportunities we have."

The casino expansion effort, to be in play this session, calls for up to seven casinos to be located in some unknown communities. Cuomo wants the initial three to be built upstate. He estimated that $150 million will be made annual by the state and localities beginning in 2016 if the plan is successful.

Buffalo billion dollar plan being spread out?

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The $1 billion for special economic development help for the Buffalo area announced last year was, according to administration aides, set to be spent over a five-year period.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his budget speech just now, said the spending is a 10-year effort.

We are waiting to see if there was a mistake in the speech or a fiscal policy shift.

Cuomo jokes -- we think -- that Bills should win with new state bailout

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- In front of an audience with many Giants and Jets fans, Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted the $60 million contained in his budget plan to keep the Buffalo Bills in Western New York.

"For $60 million the Bills better win this year. Talk about performance funding,'' Cuomo said.

Total New York state spending jumps

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The all-funds budget for New York -- which includes all sources of revenues -- will jump 5.2 percent in the coming year to $142.6 billion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the jump is driven largely by an increase in federal funding to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. That pot will total $3.6 billion this year, he said this afternoon.

Overall education funding will rise 4.4 percent under his plan compared to a 4 percent increase last year. He said the new increase he is proposing will amount to an extra $300 per student on average for the state's 700 school districts. He said education aid in the past two years has risen 8.6 percent -- double the inflation rate at a time when school enrollments have decreased by nearly 1 percent.

« Older Entries Newer Entries »

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |