Wed April 9, 2014

Medical marijuana next big issue for state legislature after lengthy spring break

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:06 am

Now that the state budget is done, the focus at the Capitol is shifting to other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana. Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers, but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver caused a bit of a stir when he seemed to say that a bill to legalize medical marijuana might be dead for the year, saying he does not think it has a future in the 2014 session.

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Thu April 3, 2014

SAFE Act supporters were also out in numbers in Albany this week

On the first semi-warm day of the year, a small band of activists gathered on the third floor landing of the Capitol Building’s ‘Million Dollar Staircase’ to voice their support for the state’s year-old SAFE Act and call for more measures to reduce gun violence.

The coalitions, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and State Legislators Against Illegal Guns stood solemnly and stoically as they shared their concerns and requests.

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Wed April 2, 2014

Anti-poverty tour to highlight inequality in New York

Sister Simone Campbell speaking at the New York State Community Action Association 8th Annual Symposium on Poverty
Credit Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

A campaign by the New York State Community Action Association to change perceptions of poverty was launched in Albany Wednesday. The 'From Poverty to Opportunity Tour 2014' is running in conjunction with a series of speaking events around the state that will feature people sharing personal stories of their experience of poverty.

Karla Digirolamo, CEO of the New York State Community Action Association put together the anti-poverty tour to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Economic Opportunity Act or as it's more commonly known, President Johnson's War on Poverty.

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Tue April 1, 2014

Cuomo, leaders admit some unfinished budget issues

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are touting the virtues of the newly enacted state budget, but the spending plan has its share of critics.

Governor Cuomo says one of the most important accomplishments achieved by him and the legislative leaders, is that the budget was passed on time, for the fourth year in a row. And he used a baseball metaphor, complete with baseballs and bats for props, to describe the feat.

“This is the grand slam budget,” said Cuomo. “I’m pleased and proud.”

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Tue April 1, 2014

State lawmakers pass budget before deadline

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:49 am

The New York state Assembly voted to approve the state's budget last night, along with the Senate.
-JvL- Flickr

Lawmakers hurried to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.

Legislators held a marathon voting session on several budget bills, in an attempt to beat the April 1 deadline. Some of the legislation was not technically printed until the wee hours of Saturday morning, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent an emergency message to waive the three day waiting period required by law.

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