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Wednesday headlines

Jun 22, 2011 1:36 am

Several issues solved, same sex marriage still undecided
In the video above (you can play audio on computer) from Capitol Confidential, the Albany Times-Union's political blog, Governor Andrew Cuomo crowed about tentative agreements between Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature about rent control, a property tax cap, SUNY tuition increases, and a few other issues. No movement yet on the same-sex marriage bill, which passed the Assembly and has 31 announced out of 32 needed votes in the Senate. The capitol has been jammed with protesters on both sides of the issue, singing hymns, and shouting chants. The Republicans who control the Senate have not allowed a vote yet, and negotiations are ongoing to bring it to the floor. Cuomo made Tuesday what sounded like a prediction for a vote on the same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday. “I believe it will be brought to the floor for a vote, I believe it should be brought to the floor for a vote, and I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to pass,” he said. The governor would not say if would extend the legislative session in Albany to Thursday or Friday if same-sex marriage legalization hasn’t been approved. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

RCS budget passes
Albany's YNN television reports voters in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk district voted Tue. June 21 for a $42 million budget with a 2.5 percent tax levy increase, after rejecting a previous budget May 17 that was $100,000 larger. The station did not report the specific vote totals but did quote school board president Scott Hughes saying, "This budget passing is very good for our students, gives us an opportunity to move forward educationally. Our business official and administration did an excellent job of making sure that they've taken into account all the money and all the revenues that have come in and it's a credit to them to make sure that what we're spending is accounted for and it's tracked very well." See the video report here.

Revised school budget proposals fail in Saugerties, Pine Plains
Ariel Zangla in The Daily Freeman reports that voters in Saugerties and Pine Plains rejected revised budget proposals Tue., June 21, forcing both districts to enact contingency budgets. The Saugerties $53,327,601 budget lost 1,380-1,322, with 32 affidavit ballots still to be counted. In Pine Plains, the $27,701,705 budget had 450 votes for and 462 opposed, and an unknown quantity of absentee or affidavit ballots that might change the outcome. The proposed Saugerties budget would have increased spending by $641,622, or 1.22 percent, with a property tax levy increase of 6.4 percent. The Pine Plains plan increased spending 3.1 percent over the current budget of $26,869,411, with a 3.4 percent tax levy increase. Voters in both school districts rejected the original budgets put forth in the May 17 school elections. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

Free fishing weekend
The State Department of Environmental Conservation has designated this weekend, June 25-26, "Free Fishing Weekend" in New York State, a two-day window for fishing without a license. "In effort to increase fishing participation in New York State, this weekend is an ideal opportunity to introduce someone to the great sport of fishing," said Commissioner Joseph Martens in a press release. "This is also an excellent time for out of state residents to visit and sample all that New York has to offer a freshwater angler. Both residents and non-residents can fish for free during this two-day period." Although a state fishing license is not required during Free Fishing Weekend, all other fishing rules and regulations remain in effect. Marine anglers 16 years of age and older are also reminded that they must enroll in the no-fee saltwater fishing registry to fish for migratory saltwater fish species or in the marine district. To register, anglers can go to the usual outlets for sporting licenses, or register online anytime on DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.htmlhttps://nyfgisales.appsolgrp.com/fgnyia/html/index.jsp. Anglers can also register by phone by calling 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257). Visit the DEC's Places to Fish page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7749.html or contact your regional DEC office for recommendations on places to go.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="2592" caption="Jacob Rivera is one of the first local fisherman to catch a black bass when the season opened June 18. Photo from River Basin Sports website."][/caption]
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