Governor Cuomo today declared a state of emergency for all of New York State:
Heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain has been reported throughout the state, I-84 has been closed from Connecticut to the Pennsylvania borders to all traffic.
Governor Cuomo announced today that the New York State Police would use social media to catch wanted individuals. State Police launched “Warrant Wednesday” today on the Division’s Facebook page asking for the public’s help to track down people who have warrants out for arrest. Previous wanted postings on the State Police Facebook page, and the public’s assistance, have led to the identification and arrest of several individuals. Postings will also be shared on the New York State Police Twitter page at nyspolice.
The State Senate passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” to prohibit welfare recipients from using cash assistance for the purchase of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or for casino gambling. State senator Jim Seward co-sponsored the bill:
The bill passed the senate by a vote of 53-4 and will be sent to the assembly, the bill has passed the legislature in recent years, but drew opposition from various pro-business groups.
The indictment accusing former Walton High School teacher Stephanie Fletcher of raping 2 male students was dismissed by Delaware County judge Carl Becker, who found the grand jury was impaired by inconsistent statements made by 1 of the alleged victims. Fletcher was arrested in November of 2012 on charges she had sex with two 16 year old Walton students.
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called for a delay in using Common Core-based standardized test scores for decisions involving students, principals and teachers. He said the delay should be two years at a minimum. The state’s rollout of the Common Core, a set of standards being adopted by more than 40 states across the country, has been criticized by a wide array of teachers and parents. The standards were first installed in New York schools last year.
Motor vehicle crash deaths among children age 12 and younger fell by 43 percent from 2002-2011 according to a report from the CDC. Research has shown that using age- and size-appropriate child restraints (car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries in a crash. One in three children who died in crashes in 2011 was not buckled up.
Money in the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund continues to be diverted for non-capital purposes, leaving critical highway and bridge projects at increased risk as the state faces fiscal challenges and shrinking debt capacity, according to a report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. DiNapoli called for a long-term plan to restore the fund to its core mission and increase pay-as-you-go financing for road and bridge capital purposes. The report can be located at osc.state.ny.us.