Without Child Care Bailout, Workforce Could Lose Women

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced she was stepping down from her position to look after her family. Working families across the country are figuring out how to provide care for their children with remote and hybrid schooling this year.

Travel In Upstate New York On The Rise

“We are seeing a lot of day- and long-weekend trips to the Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands, Adirondacks, and the Lake George area. State parks remain popular as the tourists enjoy hiking and being out in nature.”

Haircuts Are Phase 2

Broome County’s Executive Jason Garnar said if the region continues to fulfill the reopening criteria set by the state, it could see Phase 2 on May 29th.

Governor Says It’s Time To Talk About Reopening PA’s Economy, But Offers No Timeline

PA POST – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says it’s time to start talking about reopening the state’s economy, but during a Friday afternoon news conference, he avoided providing dates for when he will lift restrictions on Pennsylvania residents and businesses. “Unfortunately, we cannot flip a switch and reopen the commonwealth,” Wolf said. “There isn’t going to be one big day. We need to make smart, data-driven decisions, and we can’t be impulsive. We can’t be emotional.”

Starting next week, Wolf said he plans to describe specific steps for lifting restrictions in Pennsylvania. Those steps will follow guidelines released by the Wolf administration on Friday that emphasize a data-driven approach to create quantifiable criteria and take into account conditions in different regions of the state.

PA’s Toilet Paper Manufacturers Flush With Demand

To meet the demand, the plant has delayed upgrades and maintenance on its equipment, reduced the number of products it makes, and reassigned non-manufacturing employees to positions on the production line.

Owego Awarded $10 Million From State Fund To Revitalize Downtowns

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Owego was awarded $10 million dollars as part of New York state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, or DRI. Owego is in Tioga County. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the various projects. They are meant to boost the local economy by attracting new businesses while strengthening existing ones, repair infrastructure, enhance recreational opportunities, and address the demand for affordable housing. The money will go toward 17 projects.

Tompkins/Cortland Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton On 2019 Legislative Session

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The 2019 New York legislative session saw the passage of a raft of legislation that has been blocked in previous years. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton spoke with WSKG’s Celia Clarke in the Ithaca studio. She represents Tompkins County and part of Cortland County in the state Assembly. Lifton spoke about the new farm labor rights, legalization of electrically-assisted bicycles and scooters, and why she thinks marijuana legalization is inevitable. The conversation begins with Lifton talking what she considers the most important accomplishment of the session.

Researchers Rush To Answer Questions About Newly-Legal Hemp Crops

HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) – Alyssa Collins said she has been fielding around five phone calls every day from people with questions about hemp–and that’s not even counting the emails. Collins directs Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lancaster County, where researchers are part of a multi-state, USDA-supported study into different varieties of hemp that can be used for food and fiber. Pennsylvania approved more than 300 permits to farm industrial hemp this growing season, after Congress loosened restrictions on the crop last year. Hemp was long banned because of its relationship to marijuana, but it does not have enough of the psychoactive compound THC to produce a high. So now, researchers like Collins are trying to clear up uncertainties about the crop.

New York To Close Two State Prisons

“Jobs are very important to us in Livingston County and these were jobs  that were well paying and jobs, which the individuals spent money; some of the folks do live here in our county and they spend dollars at businesses and help sales tax.”

Policy Expert Says Legislature, Cuomo Need To Address Poverty In Budget

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) – Religious leaders and fiscal analysts are traveling New York talking to communities about the state budget proposal.  After a recent stop in Ithaca, Ron Deutsch of the Fiscal Policy Institute sat down with WSKG’s Celia Clarke in the WSKG’s Ithaca studio. Here is some of that interview:

 

More PA Republicans Are Softening Their Opposition To Minimum Wage Hike

One of Governor Tom Wolf’s perennially-unsuccessful policy suggestions may face better odds this year. A day after Senate GOP Leader Jake Corman said his caucus would be willing to consider increasing the state minimum wage, a high-ranking House Republican said the prospect isn’t out of the question for his caucus either. 

Amazon Ditches NYC Headquarters

Amazon says even though a recent poll showed 70 percent of New Yorkers wanted the project, “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us.”

Brindisi Calls On NYS Public Service Commission To Push Case Against Charter/Spectrum

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Tuesday, the New York State Attorney General announced a $174 million consumer fraud settlement with Charter/Spectrum, the largest internet and cable provider in New York State. Wednesday, Congressman-Elect Anthony Brindisi called for the state’s Public Service Commission to move forward with their case against Spectrum. That case challenges Spectrum’s right to operate in the state. Brindisi said customers deserve better options than Spectrum provides. “No one’s losing their cable,”  Brindisi said.

Rep. Tom Reed Says He Supports Net Neutrality. Some Constituents Want Action.

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Some constituents are urging Congressman Tom Reed to take action to support net neutrality. Reed represents New York’s 23rd congressional district, which stretches from Ithaca to Jamestown. Seven people met with a member of his staff in Ithaca on Tuesday morning. Back in December, the Federal Communications Commission repealed 2015 net neutrality rules that required internet providers to allow equal access to all web content. Congressman Reed supported the repeal.

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As Tesla Stock Falls, Is There Cause For Concern Over New York Plant?

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Shares of Tesla lost approximately nine percent of their value Friday, as the high-tech company moves forward amid concerns including a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, comments made by founder Elon Musk and a report that Tesla may not, after all, purchase all the output from the Buffalo-based factory it now shares with Panasonic.

In Rarity For GOP, PA Congressman Pushes For Carbon Tax

STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – In a rare move for Republican lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks County and Carlos Curbelo of Florida have teamed up to introduce a climate change bill — a big one.

PA Dairy Farmers Face Same Problems, Only Congressional Districts Have Changed

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The boundaries of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts changed this year after protracted court hearings. The issues facing citizens didn’t change, including for dairy farmers. In the new 12th District, Democrat Marc Friedenberg is running against Republican incumbent Tom Marino. Friedenberg is a first-time candidate. The district includes Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga counties.

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Supreme Court Decision Just A First Blow To Organized Labor This Spring?

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Supporters of organized labor were dealt a legal blow by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, which ruled 5-to-4 that companies have the right to prohibit collective grievances by its workers. It raises the question: is this just the first blow organized labor may face by the nation’s highest court this spring?

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GM New York Plant Will Manufacture Advanced V-8 Engine

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – General Motors’ Tonawanda Engine Plant has been selected as the first of the automaker’s plants to produce a new V-8 engine line that utilizes a cylinder deactivation technology that helps the engine produce only the power that is needed, in order to increase efficiency.

Southern Tier Lawmakers, Restaurant Owners, Employees Oppose Governor’s Proposal To End Tip Wage Credit

CORNING, NY (WSKG) – Southern Tier lawmakers are voicing their opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate the minimum wage tip credit. Corning Assemblyman Phil Palmesano joined fellow Assemblyman Chris Friend and State Senator Tom O’Mara, both of Big Flats, at a press conference on Wednesday in Corning. The Republicans were joined by restaurant owners and employees. The tip credit is part of the phase-in of the $15 per hour minimum wage. In upstate New York this means employers may pay their tipped workers $7.50 per hour with a $2.90 per hour tip credit for a total equalling the current upstate minimum wage of $10.40 per hour.