New York may soon join California, Rhode Island and New Jersey by allowing workers to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one. Supporters have pushed for years to pass a paid family leave bill with little success. But... this year it's got the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Polls show broad support even among Republicans. The bill that passed the Democratic-led Assembly this month would grant up to 12 weeks of leave. The system would be funded by a payroll deduction of less than one-dollar a week, and the benefit would be capped based on average state wages. Business groups say the proposal could be a burden on employers forced to hire temporary workers. Senate leaders say the bill remains under consideration.
A business-backed coalition fighting Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed 15-dollar-an-hour minimum wage is growing. The Minimum Wage Reality Check Campaign says Friday that it has added 18 new members, including the Buffalo-Niagara Manufacturing Alliance... the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County... and, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The coalition now comprises 50 organizations opposed to the Democratic governor's plan to gradually raise the wage from $9 to $15 an hour. Cuomo has been joining labor groups in a statewide tour designed to drum up support for the increase, which he says will help working families make ends meet while injecting more cash into local economies. Critics say the wage boost will increase prices, reduce jobs and hurt the overall economy. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the measure in the coming months.
The annual 'Have a Heart for Four-H Dinner' was held Sunday at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. Ninety-six tables were filled... 750 people attended... around $25,000 was raised. Chautauqua County Four-H educator Kate Ewer was exuberant. Some of the money will go to the their endowment, the rest will help keep Four-H going for the next year. Many of the pies were auctioned off for a hundred dollars or more. Kate Ewer says one pie sold for 10 times that amount. Tom Hockran, of Bemus Point, paid $1050 for that pecan pie. Four-H provides unique experiential learning for several hundred young people across Chautauqua County. Many of the members were in attendance Sunday, helping with the event.
It's become more known for it's lower-income rental units on East Second Street in Jamestown... but, there is more to what Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality is all about. That from CODE, Incorporated's Executive Director, Pat Morris, who says they are a neighborhood group that owns and operates around 200 rental units in the area. On the Media One Group's "Community Spotlight" program this past weekend... Morris said CODE has grown and expanded it's mission in recent years. In Jamestown... Morris says they're most involved on the city's northside, and CODE has been working with the Cleveland-area developer involved in the Jackson-Spring Apartments proposed between North Main and Spring Streets. He says those would be similar to the Euclid Gardens development CODE has in the former Euclid School that are one and two-bedroom units for middle-income people. He says they do have some one-and-two bedroom apartments in the Appleyard developments. However... he says those are mainly 3 or more bedrooms... with a number for handicapped residents. Morris adds that very little of their available housing -- including Appleyard -- are for public assistance, or Section 8 Housing. In fact, he says only 10 of their 200 units are specifically for that.
There are new hours for customers looking to pay their bills... or get other services... at the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Customer Service office -- beginning this week. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the move is being made in accordance with customer trends... and, the fact more and more people are paying on line... or looking to pay on-line. During budget discussions late last year... the Board of Public Utilities generally agreed to cutting hours as part of ways to save the BPU money. Leathers says their hours will now be 9 AM to 4 PM on Mondays through Wednesdays. On Thursdays and Fridays... he says they be expanded to 8 AM to 5 PM. For more information... call the BPU Customer Service Office at 661-1660.
New York state is using online videos to help people learn about drug addiction and treatment programs. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the series of 10 videos early last weekend. They are designed to inform users and their loved ones about the signs of addiction, the types of treatment, how insurance can cover it, and where to get help. The Democratic governor says more than 1 million New Yorkers are affected by addiction and the videos will help them navigate the ``path to recovery.'' The videos can be found on the website of the state's Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, www.oasas.ny.gov.
It wa an approach that worked for the National Comedy Center in Jamestown... and, now community leaders in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area want to seek state funding for what's being called "Chautauqua North." County Executive Vince Horrigan announced in his State of the County message last week that the project would have the city of Dunkirk, the village of Fredonia and the State University of New York at Fredonia join for a cultural/recreational project with public and private investment. Horrigan says there is also interest from the village of Fredonia... where the new mayor wants to reinvigorate the cultural part of the downtown area. He says it's time to work together for a major grant. Horrigan says they will be seeking a technical assistance grant through the University of Buffalo for the project. He says there is also a good chance that the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council may be eligible for additional funding from the state and he hopes the project will be able to pick up a share of the funding.
The New York state legislature is examining the effectiveness of New York's six-year-old electronic waste recycling law. During a hearing late last week... state environmental officials said more than 318-million pounds of electronic waste was diverted from landfills in the first three years of the state's electronics recycling law. However... they say discarded televisions and computer monitors pose a challenge. The New York Association of Counties testified... saying they want lawmakers to amend the law, saying local municipal solid waste systems have been saddled with costly electronics disposal -- particularly cathode ray tubes from old TVs and computers. The 2010 e-waste law was intended to have electronics manufacturers support recycling costs, but the volume of discarded CRTs has exceeded what manufacturers have to pay for.