WNY firms and organizations spent $5.1 million on lobbying in 2018

Budget-wise, things have been getting a bit tight in Albany recently. The urge to spend state money by newly-elected liberal Democrats from New York City was tempered by the realities of diminishing tax revenues as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s interest in continuing to hold down the growth in spending.

Nonetheless, determining how state resources will be used continues to feed a large segment of the business community that tries every year to get a larger piece of the pie. Lobbying is alive and well in New York State. Continue reading

What’s happening (and not happening) with the 2019 elections in Buffalo?

The year 2019 really seems like a strange one in local politics. The state Election Law changes, which shifted the political calendar, seem to make everything a bit off kilter.

A June primary schedule is not new in New York. Such was the case for many years until the early 1970’s, when Albany changed things to set up a September primary. That, of course, means that practically no one involved in local politics today has any history about the rhythm of what an early summer primary means. Continue reading

What kind of health care should be available to all Americans?

Far be it for Donald Trump to pass up an opportunity to make another mess for the political party that he now dominates. So he decides to promise the greatest of all health care plans.

He even named the three senators who he said will lead the charge in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Problem is, they all seem to be busy with other more important things – like watching grass grow. Continue reading

Enrollment and revenues are down. Where is ECC heading?

Finding time in their busy legislative calendars, highlighted recently by consideration of the “Feline (Cat) Adoption Promotion Act of 2019,” the Erie County Legislature recently received a presentation concerning the status of Erie Community College. The felines (cats) look like they will be getting some serious attention from the Legislature. The Kats (the ECC mascot) or the taxpayers who help fund their education – not so much. Continue reading