School budgets pass with a few notable exceptions, state budget might have to be cut again, state driving while texting ban proposed, SPAC tax might help Saratoga close gap

Most school budgets in the Capital Region passed yesterday -- but the budgets for Schenectady and Troy did not. Schenectady's schools superintendent blamed recent negative media coverage (Raucci, suicides) for the defeat. Troy's budget was narrowly defeated and its schools superintendent says he thinks the budget would pass on a second attempt. County round-ups: Albany, Schenectady, Rennselaer, Saratoga. [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [Saratogian]

State revenues are falling significantly behind last year's pace and it looks like this year's budget will have to be cut again, according to a report from the state comptroller. [NYT]

It doesn't look like caps on state spending or property tax increases currently have any chance in the state legislature, but municipal consolidation is getting attention. Also (sort of) surfacing again: the soda tax. [TU] [Daily Politics]

A state Assemblyman from the Bronx has proposed a bill that would ban texting while driving. The bill is currently being blocked by a Rochester legislator, but it apparently has some support from Sheldon Silver. [CapNews9] [Buffalo News]

The bottled water industry has filed suit in federal court arguing that the new bottle deposit bill is unconstitutional because it violates the commerce clause and the equal protection clause. [TU]

Saratoga Springs is now facing a $3 million budget gap, according to finance commissioner Ken Ivins. He's suggested making cuts in every department. The gap also has the city looking for new sources of revenue. Among the ideas: a tax on SPAC tickets. [TU] [Post-Star] [Post-Star]

The reformulated design of the Saratoga City Center was approved by the city council. Construction on the center's expansions is expected to start in September. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

The Troy School District says it cut its energy costs by 25 percent over the last year. [TU]

Some property owners in Schenectady say they think the city re-assessed properties based on values inflated by the housing bubble. [Daily Gazette]

Assault charges were dropped against the former Skidmore student accused of scuffling with Saratoga Springs cop at a house party last fall. Key to the students case: six eyewitness reports from Skidmore students. [Saratogian] [TU]

A call center located in Troy's Atrium building is leaving -- and 95 jobs are going with it. [Troy Record]

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