Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to a quiet, but important, action by the state Legislature earlier this week when lawmakers passed a second resolution on a change to the state constitution to strip pensions from lawmakers who commit crimes related to their public office. The approval means the constitutional amendment will be on the ballot for approval by voters in November. It is a good such legislation was taken care of early and didn’t get caught up in the horse-trading on ethics reform and the state budget in Albany. Perhaps legislators who previously fought pension forfeiture have gotten a good sense how many of their constituents favor the idea.

Thumbs down to the timing of a lawsuit by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that alleges Charter Communications failed to deliver on promised internet speeds and reliability. Schneiderman alleges the company failed to address network problems that led to internet speeds that were up to 70 percent slower than the speeds advertised in the company’s “premium” plan. Schneiderman’s suit claims Wi-Fi speeds also were slower than promised, with some subscribers getting speeds more than 80 percent slower than promised. “The allegations in today’s lawsuit confirm what millions of New Yorkers have long suspected — Spectrum-Time Warner Cable has been ripping you off,” Schneiderman said Wednesday. Schneiderman should be making sure companies aren’t taking advantage of state residents — but we wonder why the lawsuit wasn’t filed before Time Warner Cable was acquired by Charter Communications. There may be good reasons for waiting until after the acquisition, but it certainly doesn’t look good — and certainly sends a hostile message to large taxpaying companies that employ hundreds of people in New York state.

Thumbs up to the Jamestown Public Schools District for being removed from the state’s fiscal stress list. The district was listed as being in moderate fiscal stress in 2014 and 2015. Administrators and school board members have spending cuts in the districts which, combined with increasing state aid, have restored the district to more sound financial footing. With the budgetary issues resolved for now, district officials can continue finding ways to improve student performance.

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