News from the Associated Press - March 10, 2014

Associated Press
March 10, 2014

Assembly budget includes increase for caretakers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Assembly's budget resolution will include a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for caretakers of the disabled and others at state-funded nonprofits.

That puts the Democrat-controlled house at odds with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed in his own budget keeping the human services workers' pay flat for the sixth straight year to save an estimated $76 million.

Assembly mental health committee chairwoman Aileen Gunther in a prepared statement Sunday said an increase was overdue and "a matter of basic fairness and dignity" for workers serving the most fragile citizens.

The Assembly and the state Senate are expected to take up their separate budget proposals this week, staking out their positions as legislative leaders and Cuomo negotiate the final budget due April 1.


NY awards $28.6 million for solar projects

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The state's NY-Sun initiative has awarded $28.6 million to 37 projects across the state, including 29 photovoltaic projects that will add 33.6 megawatts of solar power generation capacity.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that under the NY-Sun initiative, a total of 299 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity has been installed or is under development in the past two years.

Awards are available for a growing number of projects because of the steady decline in solar costs in the past two years, which allows project incentive amounts to be reduced.

Earlier this month, The Solar Foundation, an independent, nonprofit research organization, ranked New York fifth in the nation in the number of solar jobs per capita, with more than 5,000 jobs in 2013.


Minority voters growing force in NY elections

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — African-Americans, Latinos and Asians accounted for 29 percent of votes cast during the 2010 elections in New York state. That number is expected to increase to 30 or 31 percent in this year's election.

That's the prediction of Bruce Gyory, a political consultant and adjunct professor of political science at the University at Albany.

During the 2010 election, exit polling showed Gov. Andrew Cuomo took 93 percent of the African-American vote and 81 percent of the Hispanic vote. The minority vote could be crucial to the campaigns of both Cuomo and any challenger.

Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino began his campaign for governor in the Bronx on Thursday. Census data show the Bronx is 36 percent African-American and 53 percent Latino.


Cuomo: NY to run ski bus service from NYC, Toronto

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is getting into the tour bus business, with plans to launch bus service from New York City to 13 upstate ski areas and from Toronto to six others.

Details are sparse, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the goal is to make New York's ski areas more competitive by making it easier and cheaper to get to them from major metropolitan areas.

Cuomo's office didn't say how much the state will invest in the service or how much tickets will cost. It will start next winter.

Trips from New York City will go to Thunder Ridge, Belleayre, Plattekill, Hunter, Windham, West, Gore, Whiteface and Catamount. Also, Greek Peak, Toggenburg, Labrador and Song Mountain.

Trips from Toronto will go to Bristol, Holiday Valley, Titus, Kissing Bridge, Peek n Peak and Swain.


NY governor proposes 50 new outdoor projects

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing 50 new outdoor access projects around New York state.

The governor says the projects will help open up 380,000 acres of state-owned lands to hikers, hunters, anglers and other outdoor lovers. Cuomo says the new access points will allow for more than $6 million in projects.

The effort is part of the governor's broader goal of making New York a more popular recreation destination.

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