NEW THIS MORNING

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Appointments to Gov. Andrew Cuomos ethics commission, especially Sen. John Sampsons nomination of Ravi Batra, who has ties to disgraced former Assemblyman Clarence Norman, are causing concern among good government advocates, The Daily News writes: http://nydn.us/rQ7Lgd

*After a push by state agencies and the newly formed Department of Financial Services, insurance companies have been forced to pay more than $16.9 million in life insurance death benefits to New York residents, the Wall Street Journal writes: http://on.wsj.com/u9hlUa

* The states Board of Regents is proposing a new education aid system that would give a higher share of funding to poor districts, the Times-Union reports: http://bit.ly/tRAgZ8

* The Seneca Nation has agreed to enter a binding arbitration agreement with the state to settle a year-long battle over whether the tribes owe a share of their casino revenues to the State, the Buffalo News reports: http://bit.ly/td5YAN

* Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a task force against prescription drug abuse, the Journal writes: http://on.wsj.com/vZjKRp

*The U.S. Attorneys office has launched an investigation into job creation agency Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation, over whether it falsified documents to make it look like more jobs were being created, the Journal writes: http://on.wsj.com/uYBFvn

* The economic recession is driving more New Yorkers to become cab drivers, a trend Taxi and Livery Commissioner David Yassky says can be helped by passage of the citys five borough taxi bill, which would create 1,500 new medallions, the Post writes: http://nyp.st/vinGl9

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