Update: April 30- The Connecticut Legislature's Finance Committee has approved a plan that includes tax hikes of $1.8 billion over two years.
The plan increases the income tax rate for Connecticut's wealthiest residents. It also lowers the overall sales tax rate, but extends it to new services, like accounting, dry cleaning, and veterinary services.
Less than a month after it was enacted, Governor Cuomo’s new teacher evaluation plan seems to be in jeopardy, with the Regents Chancellor calling for a year’s delay and a key senator saying the legislature needs to revisit the issue.
When Cuomo convinced the legislature to approve a new teacher evaluation system that relies more on standardized tests, his administration said that the State Board of Regents would have very limited power to make any changes, including compliance with a November deadline to come up with new performance reviews.
The New York State Legislature returns for the second half of the legislative session, once again under a cloud of corruption, and with numerous unsettled issues.
The session begins Tuesday, after the spring break, and this time it’s the leader of the Senate who is the focus of a federal corruption probe. State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos confirmed that he’s the target of an investigation, after the New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has convened a grand jury that is looking into some of the Senator’s business dealings, as well as those of his son.
The New York legislature completed an almost on time budget, around 3 AM on the first day of the state’s fiscal year. One of the final pieces to come together was an ethics reform package, which will provide greater disclosure of lawmaker’s outside income. But critics say it does not go far enough.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began the budget season with an ambitious agenda, which included a wide array of items that he tied to his budget plan. Those items included raising the minimum wage, reforming the state’s grand jury process and passage of the Dream Act, which would offer college financial aid to children of undocumented immigrants. In the end, Cuomo was forced to let go of nearly every measure.