The Capitol Pressroom

The Capitol Pressroom A daily, public radio program with the latest insight and analysis from the state Capitol. From the State Capitol in Albany, host David Lombardo untangles the intricacies of New York State politics with elected officials, political reporters, activists and analysts.

Each show is infused with personality, humor and your best interests in mind. He cuts through the jargon so it makes sense for us all.

Operating as usual

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo out of office, Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried is feeling optimistic about securin...
11/04/2021
Democratic lawmakers eye massive Medicaid investment

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo out of office, Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried is feeling optimistic about securing a dramatic increase in #Medicaid spending - above the annual increases - in next year's state budget.

Nov. 3, 2021 - Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, recently solicited testimony about improving the state's Medicaid program, as he prepared to secure a major increased investment in the program in the upcoming budget process.

The best kept secret heading into the pandemic was New York's shared work program.But the secret is out now, after a ten...
11/04/2021
How 'shared work' propped up New York's pandemic economy

The best kept secret heading into the pandemic was New York's shared work program.

But the secret is out now, after a ten-fold increase in utilization from 2019 to 2020.

Nov. 3, 2021 - One of the unsung heroes for New York's economy during the pandemic was the state's shared work program, which allowed employers to reduce the hours of employees, who then got to collect pro-rated state unemployment benefits and, at some points, an enhanced federal unemployment benefi...

Zoning has traditionally been the domain of local governments, but a bill from Assembly Member Harvey Epstein would over...
11/03/2021
Lawmakers weigh legalization of underground housing stock

Zoning has traditionally been the domain of local governments, but a bill from Assembly Member Harvey Epstein would override certain community decisions to help create more housing in New York

https://capitolpressroom.org/2021/11/03/lawmakers-weigh-legalization-of-underground-housing-stock/

Nov. 3, 2021 - Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, a Manhattan Democrat, makes the case for his legislation that would create a path to transition illegally created apartments into legal, regulated dwellings.

This summer the state issued a disaster declaration in response to increased gun violence, in part to expedite spending ...
11/03/2021
Hurry up and wait: New York's gun violence emergency

This summer the state issued a disaster declaration in response to increased gun violence, in part to expedite spending on violence prevention measures.

But nearly four months later not all of the targeted funds have been distributed.

Nov. 2, 2021 - Times Union reporter Josh Solomon has been checking the receipts on then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo's summer gun violence emergency announcement, assessing what has actually been accomplished by the formal declaration and trying to get a full accounting of the funds earmarked for prevention me...

The first job of a task force empowered to increase #upstate cellular coverage was to determine the accuracy of existing...
11/02/2021
Task force identifies upstate cellular coverage needs

The first job of a task force empowered to increase #upstate cellular coverage was to determine the accuracy of existing federal coverage maps.

SPOILER ALERT: The maps weren't accurate.

Nov. 2, 2021 - It took about two years, but the Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force completed its work this fall of identifying the region's dark spots and coming up with an action plan for the future. Task force member Jeff Senterman explains how they uncovered the inadequacy of

The initial campaign to vaccinate adult New Yorkers for #COVID19 focused on large-scale, state-run facilities.Dr. Joseph...
11/02/2021
New York readies to vaccinate kids

The initial campaign to vaccinate adult New Yorkers for #COVID19 focused on large-scale, state-run facilities.

Dr. Joseph Sellers, a pediatrician, says the #COVIDvaccine campaign for kids should start in doctors' offices.

Nov. 1, 2021 - Dr. Joseph Sellers, a pediatrician and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, explains what the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines should look like for kids ages 5 to 11 in New York, weighs in on a potential vaccination mandate for children

The leaders of the NYS  Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSERDA walked us through a report studying the cos...
11/01/2021
The cost (and benefit) of combating climate change

The leaders of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSERDA walked us through a report studying the costs and benefits of a transition to green energy in New York.

Nov. 1, 2021 - The cost of combatting climate change may be expensive, but it's ultimately a net positive, according to a recent report presented to the Climate Action Council. The group's co-chairs, NYSERDA President & CEO Doreen Harris and NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, join the show to explai...

We talked with Senator Samra Brouk about her recent visit to the Dutchess County Stabilization Center and why she plans ...
11/01/2021
Lawmakers envision overhaul of state's crisis intervention services

We talked with Senator Samra Brouk about her recent visit to the Dutchess County Stabilization Center and why she plans on fighting to secure funds in next year's state budget to make that model accessible to more New Yorkers.

Oct. 29, 2021 - Senate Mental Health Committee Chair Samra Brouk, a Rochester Democrat, recaps her visit to a crisis intervention center in Dutchess County and makes the case for greater state investment in services catering to New Yorkers suffering from a mental health or substance abuse episode.

The NYS  Department of Environmental Conservation is getting in the movie business to spread awareness of invasive speci...
10/31/2021
Invasive species get starring role in DEC-backed documentary

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is getting in the movie business to spread awareness of invasive species in the state.

https://capitolpressroom.org/2021/10/28/invasive-species-get-starring-role-in-dec-backed-documentary/

Oct. 28, 2021 - State Forester Rob Davies discusses the threat of invasive species in New York, which is the subject of an upcoming documentary commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

There's reason to suspect New Yorkers will be able to legally bet on the Super Bowl from the comfort of their couch (if ...
10/31/2021
State regulators hone in on online sports wagering operators

There's reason to suspect New Yorkers will be able to legally bet on the Super Bowl from the comfort of their couch (if they're into that kind of thing).

https://capitolpressroom.org/2021/10/28/state-regulators-hone-in-on-online-sports-wagering-operators/

Oct. 28, 2021 - After state lawmakers and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved online sports wagering in the spring, state regulators have been working behind the scenes to set up a framework of rules and select operators to run the future system. Legal Sports Report Managing Editor Adam Candee provides....

When buying a home, would you ask if it was haunted?Because of a 30-year-old court case, Albany Law School professor Pat...
10/30/2021
The case of the haunted house (seriously)

When buying a home, would you ask if it was haunted?

Because of a 30-year-old court case, Albany Law School professor Pat Reyhan says it may be the seller's responsibility to tell you about any ghosts or ghouls on the property.

October 27, 2021 - With Halloween around the corner, we're getting scared to death by Albany Law School distinguished professor Pat Reyhan, who has a spooky story about a haunted house that was the subject of a groundbreaking lawsuit 30 years ago. Listen if you dare!!!!

Some Democratic officials are making vocal endorsements in the Buffalo mayoral race, while others are staying on the sid...
10/29/2021
Buffalo election serves as litmus for Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls

Some Democratic officials are making vocal endorsements in the Buffalo mayoral race, while others are staying on the sidelines.

We asked a political strategist what's behind these decisions and what they say about the state's Democratic Party.

Oct. 29, 2021 - The race to be mayor of Buffalo is intriguing by itself, but a political science class could also be taught about the endorsements - or lack of endorsements - in the race. Metropolitan Public Strategies founder and CEO Neal Kwatra reads the political tea leaves behind

Assemblyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski is eying a 21st century upgrade of the transparency laws governing public meetings in N...
10/29/2021
Lawmakers weigh future of state's Open Meetings Law

Assemblyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski is eying a 21st century upgrade of the transparency laws governing public meetings in New York.

https://capitolpressroom.org/2021/10/28/lawmakers-weigh-future-of-states-open-meetings-law/

October 28, 2021 - Assembly Government Operations Committee Chair Ken Zebrowski, a Rockland County Democrat, recounts what he learned at his recent hearing examining compliance with the state's Open Meetings Law during the pandemic and considers the shape of the transparency measure for the future.

It may seem hard to believe, but the last incursion of New York was less than 50 years ago.
10/29/2021
That time the Mohawks invaded the Adirondack Park

It may seem hard to believe, but the last incursion of New York was less than 50 years ago.

October 27, 2021 - Nearly 50 years ago, Lou Grumet was dispatched to upstate New York - by then-state Secretary of State Mario Cuomo - to negotiate with a group of armed Mohawk Indians from Canada, who had seized more than 600 acres of property in the Adirondacks. What happened

Assemblymember Didi Barrett is trying to improve the state's delivery of services to veterans.
10/28/2021
Lawmakers eye overhaul of state Division of Veterans' Services

Assemblymember Didi Barrett is trying to improve the state's delivery of services to veterans.

October 28, 2021 - Assembly Veterans' Affairs Committee Chair Didi Barrett recently held a hearing examining the structural deficiencies of the state agency tasked with serving New York’s veterans and introduced legislation to overhaul the bureaucratic operations.

Don't expect state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli to join the ranks of Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls.
10/28/2021
DiNapoli talks 2022 and Buffalo's mayoral race

Don't expect state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli to join the ranks of Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls.

Oct. 27, 2021 - State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discusses his plans for 2022, handicaps the field of Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls and avoids weighing in on the race for mayor of Buffalo.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli says the Cuomo administration was often more concerned about announcing an economic...
10/27/2021
DiNapoli urges greater scrutiny of economic development spending

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli says the Cuomo administration was often more concerned about announcing an economic development initiative than making sure the investment of taxpayer funds paid off.

Oct. 27, 2021 - State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discusses the Cuomo administration's oversight of its economic development initiatives, which is the subject of a new audit by the comptroller's office, and makes the case for a more rigorous analysis of how taxpayer funds are being invested.

We talked with NYS Assemblymember Chris Burdick about steps the state can do to ensure that New Yorkers with a disabilit...
10/27/2021
Finding economic opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities

We talked with NYS Assemblymember Chris Burdick about steps the state can do to ensure that New Yorkers with a disability who want to work can find employment.

October 26, 2021 - Assemblyman Chris Burdick, a Westchester County Democrat, shares what he learned from a recent hearing seeking information to improve economic opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has launched a centralized hub of pandemic information, which is a transparency upgrade from the Cuomo...
10/26/2021
New York's uneven history of COVID-19 data transparency

Gov. Kathy Hochul has launched a centralized hub of pandemic information, which is a transparency upgrade from the Cuomo administration, but is still too opaque for groups like Reinvent Albany.

October 26, 2021 - Gov. Kathy Hochul has packaged New York's pandemic data into a centralized website as part of an effort to be more transparent, so we asked Reinvent Albany policy analyst Tom Speaker to assess the data that's available, how it's presented and what's missing.

Less than 3% of high schoolers are smoking, according to a 2020 state study.
10/26/2021
Youth smoking hits all-time low level in New York

Less than 3% of high schoolers are smoking, according to a 2020 state study.

October 26, 2021 - Officials from the state Department of Health highlight the to***co consumption rates among teens - less than 3 percent of high schoolers report smoking - and consider the state policies that got us to this new low.

Gov. Kathy Hochul opened the door last month to reforming the state's approach to s*x work - or at least having a conver...
10/25/2021
S*x work decriminalization dialogue prompted by Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul opened the door last month to reforming the state's approach to s*x work - or at least having a conversation about decriminalization.

October 21, 2021 - In September, Gov. Kathy Hochul ignited the hopes of advocates trying to decriminalize s*x work in New York, when she expressed a willingness to engage on the issue. To understand the current landscape of s*x work in New York and what it would mean to take

When the state legalized #ma*****na in the spring, there was a hope that recreational markets could be up and running in...
10/23/2021
H**p regulations 'probably' up next for Cannabis Control Board

When the state legalized #ma*****na in the spring, there was a hope that recreational markets could be up and running in 18 months.

We asked a state regulator about what timeline is possible now.

After addressing medical ma*****na accessibility in its first two meetings, the state Cannabis Control Board will likely turn its attention next to outstanding h**p regulations, which were promulgated and never finalized by the state Department of Health. "We don't have the agenda set for the next m...

Would you be more likely to vote if you had the day off? Proponents of an Election Day holiday say it would increase par...
10/22/2021
Can we interest you in a national Election Day holiday?

Would you be more likely to vote if you had the day off?

Proponents of an Election Day holiday say it would increase participation.

October 21, 2021 - In light of national movement for an Election Day holiday, RepresentUs research analyst Caroline Joseph helps us understand who gets time off for Election day in New York currently and why a national holiday makes sense.

The state's top court has three former prosecutors and no judges with a background in criminal defense.Albany Law School...
10/22/2021
Seven names emerge for seat on state's top court

The state's top court has three former prosecutors and no judges with a background in criminal defense.

Albany Law School's Vin Bonventre says that dynamic could be changing.

October 21, 2021 - Before the year is over, Gov. Kathy Hochul will get a chance to leave her mark on the state's top court, filling an upcoming vacancy with one of seven potential candidates identified by a judicial nominating commission. Vin Bonventre, a distinguished law professor with Albany Law

As part of the push to make parole more accessible, some Democratic lawmakers want a ban on life sentences without the p...
10/21/2021
Legislation would end life sentences without chance of parole

As part of the push to make parole more accessible, some Democratic lawmakers want a ban on life sentences without the possibility of parole.

We talked with Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda about the idea.

October 20, 2021 - While New York judges aren't sentencing anyone to death anymore, they can essentially sentence someone to die in prison, a power that state Sen. Luis Sepulveda, a Bronx Democrat, is hoping to ban with his new bill ensuring that all criminal sentences come with the possibility

After meeting in private recently, Assemblyman Ron Kim believes that Gov. Kathy Hochul is someone Democratic lawmakers c...
10/21/2021
Assemblyman Kim optimistic about pandemic bills after meeting with governor

After meeting in private recently, Assemblyman Ron Kim believes that Gov. Kathy Hochul is someone Democratic lawmakers can partner with in the upcoming legislative session.

October 20, 2021 - Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, discusses his recent meeting with Gov. Kathy Hochul about the state's handling of the pandemic in nursing homes and policies the state can advance in the future.

In the market for some high-tech equipment in Buffalo that no one has used for months?You can probably get it for less t...
10/20/2021
Buffalo Billion clearance sale

In the market for some high-tech equipment in Buffalo that no one has used for months?

You can probably get it for less than the original $207 million purchase price.

October 20, 2021 - It's a clearance sale out in Buffalo, where the state is hoping to move equipment purchased as part of the Buffalo Billion initiative - with a price tag of $207 million - but has gone unused for many months, according to Capital Tonight reporter Ryan Whalen.

While the Democratic gubernatorial primary is still eight months away, at this point - among the potential candidates - ...
10/20/2021
Poll: Hochul well positioned for potential Democratic primary skirmish

While the Democratic gubernatorial primary is still eight months away, at this point - among the potential candidates - you want to be Gov. Kathy Hochul, according to a new Siena College Research Institute- SCRI poll.

October 20, 2021 - The Democratic primary for governor is more than half a year away, but the Siena College Research Institute is already in the field with horse race polls considering three different potential matchups.

We examined the state's big plans for offshore wind development on the Long Island coast.
10/20/2021
New York bets big on offshore wind energy future

We examined the state's big plans for offshore wind development on the Long Island coast.

October 18, 2021 - Joe Martens, the recently retired head of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, explains the current state of New York's offshore wind projects along the coast of Long Island and what they mean for job creation in the Capital Region.

A nursing home in central New York has gotten a lot of attention for its substandard care, but NYS Senator Rachel May sa...
10/19/2021
Syracuse-area nursing home emblematic of state's struggle to care for elderly

A nursing home in central New York has gotten a lot of attention for its substandard care, but NYS Senator Rachel May says it's not necessarily an anomaly in the industry.

"I think our nursing home system is broken," said May.

October 19, 2021 - Senate Aging Committee Chair Rachel May recently visited a central New York nursing home that has come under fire for its inadequate treatment of the elderly and disabled New Yorkers that it serves. The Syracuse-area Democrat discusses the state's role in improving care at the fac...

Curious which COVID-19 vaccine gives you the best protection against the Delta variant?
10/19/2021
State health officials examine effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines

Curious which COVID-19 vaccine gives you the best protection against the Delta variant?

October 18, 2021 - A new report from the state Department of Health examined the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccinations, including during the emergence of the Delta variance. Dr. Eli Rosenberg, the report's lead author, discusses how the analysis was conducted, what they determined and how the inform...

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Comments

I want to thank David Lombardo for pointing out to the politician he was interviewing that sponsoring a bill can be meaningless. He used the New York Health Act as an example. I thought it was an excellent question.
todd kaminski: an idiot! maybe you should watch the episode with click and clack on PBS about new technology for cars, maybe it will add reality your thoughts, there is nothing now to replace the reciprocating engine in the future, just alot of theories and prototypes, we just dont have the technology! all your doing is hoping that the technology happens before the new deadline. The only time any new technology advance occurred fast was during WW2, and that was desperation, are we that desperate now, if so how will you convince the masses[proles]. propaganda, taxes, untruths, etc. your interview was unconvincing and non realistic,
Heard Robert Abrams' (former NYSAG) interview on WAMC Albany Public Radio and liked what I heard. Did he REALLY enable the NYSAG to investigate criminal charges? According to a (2008) letter from Mellissa Woods (former Asst. NYSAG - Civil Rights) the NYSAG is barred from investigating criminal matters dealing with NYS officials and employees - including those running SUNY because the AG and SUNY are both NYS Govt agencies. But earlier in 2007 (then AG) Cuomo testified before Congress that he HAD investigated SUNY employees for his 'predatory lender' consumer fraud campaign but declined to investigate federal felony financial fraud wherein students are coerced into submitting 'fraudulent instruments for filing' (FAFSA forms to receive federal Student Aid) under threat of expulsion from their SUNY colleges. https://youtu.be/NejE6c-5n_U?t=570 Which is true?
Re police misconduct. Did you know that Rochester has developed a police Accountabiliyu Board to determine discipline related issues with a community based group that can reveal police misconduct and superceded the Mayor. It took several years to get this.
why are you even running this story about milk!! milk sales have been dropping for years, times are changing,milk has been replaced by soya milk,almond milk etc are you part of the propanganda machine!!! are YOU being paid by the milk marketing board.
Now is the time for the state to take over energy. For profit corps holding citizens hostage is wrong. New green deal we become producers instead of consumers.
Mrs.Susan Arbetter if you would ask Why Gov Cuomo is sending help to Puerto Rico on the NEW YORK Tax payers dime they are a U.S. Territory not a territory of NY. I believe this is only to gain voter support if he decides to run for President and if this is so ,I'm pretty sure you can't use public funds to campaign with
I am hoping polluting gas pipelines will never be built in New York State. Citizens are installing their own solar and wind. With a Tesla's Power Wall, we can go off the grid. What we need to do is decentralize power, by making our own. With the Power Wall we have power 24 hours a day. With Tesla's solar shingles, citizens can re-roof, when they need to replace their roof, with shingles that are beautiful, less expensive than regular roofing options, last longer, and are strong, and collect the energy we need. When builders install solar roofs on new houses, the need for expensive, centralized energy that is vulnerable to power outages disappears. It can't happen soon enough.
Was it smart to let Lyft and Uber operate in New York without requiring that injured people would be covered by the car's policy? Instead you have to sue the driver who probably has no money. He probably can't even afford to fix your car much less your broken bones.