- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - In the latest developments in New York state government, a proposal to raise legislative pay fell flat, the state’s nuclear power plan moves forward and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman strikes a deal with the NFL.

A guide to the week’s top stories from Albany:

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LEGISLATIVE PAY

Legislators’ hopes of a January pay raise were dashed Tuesday when a commission appointed to study the idea balked.

Lawmakers now make $79,500 for what is technically a part-time job. Lawmakers haven’t seen a raise since 1999 but still make the third-highest legislative salary in the country.

Many lawmakers say their pay hasn’t kept up with the cost of living and doesn’t reflect the work they put in outside the six-month legislative session.

But on Tuesday, the idea fell flat when Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s three appointees on the seven-member commission said they wouldn’t support a pay hike partly because no lawmaker spoke in favor of an increase at the commission’s meetings.

Lawmakers could convene a lame-duck session this year to vote on a pay raise or appoint a new commission to reconsider.

Legislative pay is seen as a touchy subject following scandals that have seen more than 30 lawmakers leave office facing ethics or criminal allegations since 2000.

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SCHNEIDERMAN 1, NFL 0

The NFL will end a policy that prohibited the resale of tickets at below face value under a multistate legal settlement negotiated by Schneiderman.

The agreement was negotiated after Schneiderman’s office began investigating the policy, which prohibited sellers from listing tickets on sanctioned resale sites for less than the full face value of the ticket.

Schneiderman, a Democrat, said prices should reflect the free market and fans shouldn’t be forced to buy or sell tickets for “artificially inflated” prices.

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NUCLEAR PLAN MOVES FORWARD

New York utility regulators have approved the sale of FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, a transfer linked to the state’s plan to invest in nuclear energy while weaning itself off fossil fuels.

The Public Service Commission approved the sale Thursday. Federal regulators also must approve the transfer.

The state has authorized up to $7.6 billion in ratepayer subsidies to keep FitzPatrick and two other nuclear plants operational. Cuomo says nuclear power is preferable to coal or natural gas as New York transitions to renewable energy.

The owners of other power plants are suing to block the subsidies, which critics of nuclear power say are a costly bailout for a hazardous industry.

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STATE CONTRACT OVERSIGHT

Cuomo announced steps to review state contracts following charges of bid-rigging in state economic development programs.

The biggest change involves the creation of a new position - a chief procurement officer - who will examine contracts for wrongdoing.

The governor also said he will no longer accept campaign contributions from companies during the bidding process for state contracts.

Earlier this fall, federal authorities arrested several contractors, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and an ex-Cuomo aide following an investigation into bribery and bid-rigging in economic development programs. The men say they are innocent.

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