Government

Government
3:54 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Heastie Elected As NY's First African-American Assembly Speaker

Newly-elected Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, waves to the Assembly after his election at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. Heastie is the first African-American Speaker. He will lead a chamber that has been rocked by scandal. He succeeds Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader who resigned after being charged with taking nearly $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks.
Credit AP Photo/Mike Groll

Carl Heastie was elected unanimously by Democrats in the Assembly to be the next Speaker, less than two weeks after former Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested and charged with  running a massive, multi-million dollar corruption scheme.

Heastie, the first African American speaker in the Assembly’s 237 year history, gave a brief speech to the chamber, where he  focused on moving on from the scandal brought on the Assembly by his predecessor. Heastie says the members have told him- they want change.

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Transportation
2:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Federal Report Finds Bolts On New Metro-North Train Cars Faulty

Metro North railroad employees use heavy equipment to repair tracks near Bridgeport, Connecticut, Monday, May 20, 2013.
Credit (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The National Transportation Safety Board says Metro-North needs to replace thousands of bolts on more than 400 of the railroad’s newest Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company M-8 train cars. The NTSB released a report earlier this week that stemmed from a derailment in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in May of 2013, that injured dozens of people. The NTSB said the bolts are too weak.

These are the bolts in between train cars that hold two cars together. The NTSB says the bolts didn’t cause the derailment, but their failure made the two-train collision worse.

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Government
6:33 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Charges Against Silver Detailed; Assembly Democrats Close Ranks

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is surrounded by media as he leaves a federal courthouse in New York, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. Silver, 70, was arrested Thursday on public corruption charges and accused of using his position to obtain millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income. A magistrate judge in federal court in Manhattan later released the lawmaker on $200,000 bail.
Credit AP Photo/Seth Wenig

N.Y. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is under arrest, and $3.8 million dollars in eight different bank accounts held by Silver have been seized, as federal prosecutors accuse him of running two fraudulent and corrupt schemes.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara laid out the charges against Silver, saying the Speaker used his "titanic " powers in office to amass a  "tremendous " personal fortune by running two separate schemes that involved millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

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NY State of the State
6:29 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Cuomo Challenges Teachers, Lawmakers, In Budget Proposal

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address and executive budget proposal at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Albany, N.Y.
Credit AP Photo/Mike Groll

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his joint State of the State and budget message, proposing a $141.6 billion spending plan that in part sets up a show down with teachers and education advocates.

The governor wants 100 more charter schools and an overhaul of teacher evaluations, which he says are "baloney," because virtually all teachers are rated as adequate.

"98% of the teachers rated effective," Cuomo said. "Who are we kidding, my friends?"

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Conn. Rainy Day Fund
7:43 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Lembo: Conn. Should Change The Way It Saves For A Rainy Day

Conn. Comptroller Kevin Lembo.
Credit Conn. Comptroller's Office

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo wants the state to change the way it puts away money for a rainy day.

Much of Connecticut’s rainy day fund depends of a volatile source – the sometimes higher than expected revenues generated by corporations and the state’s wealthiest residents, who make money on Wall Street, and file quarterly returns, Lembo said.

"Historically, the way we make a deposit into the rainy day fund is we wait until the end of the year and we see what’s left and then, maybe, most, or all of it gets deposited into the rainy day fund,” said Lembo.

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