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The Week in Local News: 20190127

Jan 26, 2019 12:27 am
With a Democratic majority in both legislative chambers, and Democrat Andrew Cuomo re-elected for a third term as governor, Albany continued to be a whirlwind of activity in its second week in session. Joseph Spector reported for lohud [dot] com that under new legislation approved by state lawmakers Jan. 23, teacher evaluations would no longer be linked to student test scores. The bill eliminates the requirement that schools use test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation. Rick Karlin reported in the Albany Times Union that Assembly Democratic Majority Speaker Carl Heastie said Jan. 23, “Today we will pass the DREAM Act for the ninth and final time.” Instead of languishing there, the bill also passed the Senate this year, and will soon allow an estimated 6,000 undocumented immigrant students statewide to be eligible for state scholarships such as the Tuition Assistance Program. And David Klepper of the Associated Press reported in The Daily Freeman that New York state passed a new abortion rights law Jan. 22, an effort to protect women's right in face of a possible Supreme Court ruling overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. The State Senate and Assembly passed the Reproductive Health Act, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law on the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. The bill replaces a 1970 state abortion law that only permitted abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman's life was at risk. Physician assistants can perform some abortions under this new law.

Greene County reported that the Catskill boil water advisory was lifted as of Friday, January 25. Two water main breaks in the past week in the Village of Catskill left many homes and businesses without water, and some with a discolored liquid coming out of their faucets. The water main breaks came just after a large snow storm, and then below zero temperatures, exhausted highway department workers.

Diane Pineiro-Zucker is reporting for the Daily Freeman Democrat Joel Tyner has now formally resigned his seat as a Dutchess County Legislator after a significant number of women came forward this week with allegations of sexual harassment. Tyner has vehemently denied the charges, telling Pineiro-Zucker, "I’m not spawn from the loins of Lucifer. What’s going on here? ... It’s just a party at this point. Just a feeding frenzy. Pile on.” Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver, a Republican representing Pine Plains, on Jan. 24, called on Tyner to formalize his resignation, citing what he said were credible allegations of decades-long sexual harassment of women by the veteran politician. Previously, Pulver said he would need to know the allegations against Tyner were credible before calling for him to step down. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro also called on Tyner to resign. "These allegations must be investigated to get to the truth. ... These are serious issues, and the women speaking out deserve to be heard,” Molinaro said in a prepared statement. Tyner represented the towns of Rhinebeck and Clinton, and he is one of the longest-serving members of the county Legislature, having first been elected in 2003.
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