New York State may adopt a medical marijuana program this year, where the drug could be administered in a pilot program through 20 hospitals. Governor Cuomo commented during the state of the state address last week:
State senator Tom Libous of Binghamton disagrees with the initial proposal:
The Democratic led state assembly has passed medical marijuana bills in the past; it has always failed to pass in the Republican controlled state senate.
The state Legislature starts its 2014 session in earnest this week. Lawmakers return to Albany today and tomorrow for session days. The Republican-dominated coalition in charge of the Senate will issue a report on hearings lawmakers held across the state on New York’s regulatory climate. Democrats in control of the Assembly have already introduced legislation to speed implementation of a $9 an hour minimum wage by the end of the year, a full year ahead of schedule.
Delaware County Deputies arrested 41-year-old Michelle Wright of Margaretville for 2 counts of 4th degree Grand Larceny, Criminal possession of stolen property, & Criminal impersonation. Wright was arraigned and was remanded to the Delaware County Jail on $500 cash bail. Wright is accused of using a credit card that did not belong to her and charged in excess of $1,000 dollars on that card. She is due back in the Town of Roxbury Court on January 15th.
Shortly after 11:30 am the Norwich Fire Department responded to a fire alarm activation at the DCMO BOCES Chenango campus. Norwich units arrived on scene and found the building evacuated with no smoke or flames showing, firefighters found a small fire in a bathroom that was quickly put out.
Governor Cuomo has nominated Richard Ball as the next Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Ball operates a farm & retail business in Schoharie County, he faces state senate approval prior to taking the position. Ball replaces Darrel Aubertine, who had been the commissioner since 2011.
Governor Cuomo signed legislation that authorizes local municipalities to adopt their own laws regulating or licensing pet dealers. The “Puppy Mill” Bill was passed by the legislature at the tail end of the 2013 session, previously, state law blocked local governments from enacting their own pet dealer laws. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to enforce existing state laws pertaining to animal care by pet dealers.
New York State’s 64-campus university system is undertaking a virtual expansion, adding new online degree programs, and enhancing academic and technical support for students taking classes via computer. The State University of New York goes live Tuesday with eight new online degree programs at six campuses and plans to add more in September. SUNY currently offers more than 12,000 courses and 150-degree programs online. For more information go to opensuny.org.
New York would have the toughest texting-while-driving penalties in the nation under a proposal by Governor Cuomo. The governor pitched a law that would suspend the driver’s license for 1 year, for those under age 21 caught texting while driving. Currently, there is a 6-month suspension for teens caught texting while driving. Cuomo also proposed revoking licenses for 5 years, for drivers with 2 drunk-driving convictions in a 3-year period and full revocation of driver’s licenses for those with 3 convictions. Currently, 2 DWI’s within 10 years leads to a minimum 1-year suspension.