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Today's Top Stories - Saturday December 15, 2018

DiNapoli and NYS Face Lawsuit For Increase of State Lawmaker Salary
The state’s recent vote to increase lawmaker’s salaries has been countered with a lawsuit filed this week. According to the Government Justice Center, they will lead the first lawsuit against the state and New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In the lawsuit, the Government Justice Center claims the increase in salary for lawmakers as well as the restrictions put on the state legislature is “unconstitutional”. The group identifies as “nonpartisan” but Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the group of having a politically-motivated agenda due to its conservative members and funding by Mercer. Several other Republican state lawmakers expressed interest in lawsuits, so it’s possible the one filed this week will not be the last filed against New York state.


STOP-DWI Holiday Crackdown Continues
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police have joined the national enforcement initiative to crack down on impaired driving this holiday season.  Troopers and deputies are participating in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which runs through Tuesday, January 1. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints, along with more police on roadways during this campaign. During last year’s crackdown, State Police issued more than 40,000 tickets. There were 645 people arrested for DWI and 10 people killed in motor vehicle crashes.


Governor Cuomo Orders Flags at Half Staff for Fallen Marines
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Major James Brophy of Dutchess County and five other Marines who were killed in a collision between a KC-130 refueling plane and a fighter jet last Thursday off Japan's southern coast. Flags are currently at half-staff in honor of President George H. W. Bush, in conjunction with a federal proclamation, and will be lowered again on Monday, December 31 in honor of the Marines.


NY Farm Bureau Releases “Circle of Friends” List
New York Farm Bureau has released its annual “Circle of Friends,” naming 160 New York State Legislators to the distinguished list. The award is an indication of the individual lawmaker’s support of New York agriculture and Farm Bureau. Making the list…Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano. The “Circle of Friends” honor is based upon each legislator’s voting record on issues of agricultural importance as well as other evidence of legislative support, including sponsorship of bills that New York Farm Bureau has either supported or opposed during the most recent legislative session.


Wreaths Across America Needs Volunteers
The Wreaths Across America ceremony needs volunteers for today. Those interested in helping place the wreaths should be sure to dress warm and meet at the VA campus by 11:30 a.m. to catch a shuttle bus or walk up to the cemetery. Coffee, cocoa and cookies to follow at the Historical Museum.

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