On Monday, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, warned consumers of price gouging of children’s painkillers and fever reducers since demand has increased. Not only are COVID cases ticking up but cases of flu and respiratory syncytial virus are spiking this year in children since many of them have been isolated or masked for two years.

Albany County is investing $160,000 in the Eviction Prevention and Intervention Collaborative, known as EPIC, that will help county residents facing eviction with legal assistance, referrals, and information.

The bill would have prevented retired public workers — who are obligated to enroll in Medicare once they’re 65 — from losing the skilled-nursing-care benefit when they make the switch. Governor Kathy Hochul rejected it, saying it was too expensive for governments and school districts. 

She will take on the civilian position of sexual assault prevention and response director.

The Coalition for Open Government, a watchdog on government transparency issues in New York State, is starting a Capital Region chapter made up of citizens who include Robyn Gray, who chairs the steering committee for the Guilderland Coalition for Responsible Growth. 

The Albany County Redistricting Commission’s original submission was rejected by the county legislature in October due to what legislatures described as a possible dilution of the county’s majority-minority districts.

Poverty rates in New York State have been higher than the national average since 2014. In 2021, the most recent year with available data, 13.9 percent of New Yorkers lived in poverty — 2.7 million people — compared to 12.8 percent nationwide. For 2020, Albany County had a poverty rate below both the state and national averages — at 11.3 percent.

The bill, signed by the governor late last month, requires that all funds received by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority from renewable-energy facilities built on farmland will be put into a farmland protection fund. 

A report released on Tuesday by AARP New York found that a lack of affordable and accessible housing in rural areas compounded with a lack of public transportation make it hard for old New Yorkers living in the country to age in place. The housing problem has been made dramatically worse by the pandemic, the study found.

The budget is similar to  what was proposed earlier this year, with taxes down 8 percent and spending up about 6 percent from this year.