Marijuana Legalization

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Calls For Legalization Of Leisure Hashish

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his annual State of the State tackle Wednesday to advocate for a mixture of “sensible” progressive targets and pressing duties, together with waging struggle on hate crimes, spending $three billion on environmental safety and legalizing leisure marijuana.

The third-term Democrat touted previous
achievements and trumpeted a protracted listing of coverage initiatives, lots of
which he previewed in a collection of bulletins over the previous month.
Cuomo additionally burdened the necessity for fiscal restraint, with the state
watching a $6 billion funds hole, induced largely by hovering Medicaid
spending.

The agenda Cuomo outlined within the speech consists of plans
for increasing anti-discrimination protections within the state structure,
an overhaul for New York Metropolis’s Penn Station and a proposed ban on foam
meals containers. Cuomo additionally outlined one other ban that will cowl
advertising and marketing flavored e-cigarettes to youngsters, initiatives supposed to
decrease the price of pharmaceuticals, assured paid sick depart time
for extra New York staff and expanded common pre-kindergarten.

“New York at her finest is the progressive capitol of the nation, and we should fulfill that future once more this yr,” Cuomo mentioned.

Cuomo
delivered his tackle on the Empire State Plaza Conference Middle in
downtown Albany to an viewers of members of the Legislature and high
politicians from across the state. The speech kicked off a legislative
session working via June 2.

The governor’s tackle comes after
a number of episodes of violence concentrating on Jewish folks, together with an
assault by a person who stormed inside the house of a Monsey rabbi, Chaim
Rottenberg, and stabbed 5 folks at a Hanukkah celebration.

Rottenberg delivered a blessing earlier than Cuomo’s tackle and referred to as for tolerance.

“I
will always remember the horror of that night time,” Rottenberg mentioned. “However I
will even always remember how we proceed to rejoice after that day, how
we proceed to rejoice within the miracle of Hanukkah. I’ll always remember
the resilience on show that night time and within the following days, the
resilience of Jewish folks and the resilience of New York.”

Cuomo
is proposing a brand new legislation focused at home terrorism and mentioned New York
can be the primary state within the U.S. to enact such laws. The brand new
legislation would apply to crimes during which no less than one particular person died and victims
had been focused by their race, faith and gender, amongst different subjects.

Cuomo
referred to as the assault “insupportable” and pledged the state gained’t stand for
it. “They attacked me, they usually attacked you,” Cuomo mentioned.

“These
are the occasions, my buddies, when New York state is known as upon to result in
set a course for a troubled nation looking its manner via the fog of
confusion,” he mentioned.

In a coverage briefing e-book that accompanied his speech, Cuomo mentioned his proposal to legalize marijuana would restrict the sale of hashish merchandise to adults over age 21. However he solely briefly talked about his legalization proposal in his tackle Wednesday, to tepid applause.

An analogous proposal to legalize leisure marijuana
failed final yr amongst disagreements over funding and hesitation from
suburban Democrats. Lawmakers as an alternative scaled again penalties for
possession of small quantities of marijuana and created a course of for
expungement.

Cuomo has declared “Making Progress Occur” as his
slogan for 2020. However any progress must come whereas the state is
grappling with a funds hole fueled by hovering Medicaid prices. Debate
over methods to deal with the shortfall is predicted to paint nearly each
coverage debate this yr.

A whole bunch of activists rallied in Albany demanding motion on points together with the state’s formidable local weather change targets.

Cuomo
referred to as local weather change the “transcendent risk of our occasions” and
proposed sending voters a $three billion bond in November to fund a flood
discount and habitat restoration program he’s calling Restore Mom
Nature.

“As a result of no financial technique, no social justice reform,
no schooling coverage shall be value a rattling if we don’t have a planet to
reside on,” he mentioned.

Cuomo has but to share many particulars about his
plans to handle hovering prices of the Medicaid program, which serves
over 6 million folks.

The governor referred to as Wednesday for improved
accountability within the Medicaid system, saying safeguards had been wanted to
restrict potential overspending on this system by municipalities.

Extra
particulars of how the administration plans to handle the funding hole might
have to attend for his funds proposal, anticipated in mid-January.

Cuomo
has cautioned towards overspending whereas pledging to not elevate taxes.
That budget-conscious message may conflict with extra left-leaning
lawmakers and advocates who wish to stability the funds with new taxes on
the rich.

The governor’s celebration has seen massive political wins in
latest years, at the same time as some long-time Democratic incumbents have misplaced to
extra left-wing challengers. However Cuomo argued Wednesday true progressive
politics have to be grounded in “actuality” and champion outcomes over
rhetoric.

Republicans, who’ve seen their clout diminish in Albany, say they may maintain down spending and resist new taxes.

Republican
leaders together with state GOP chairman Nick Langworthy criticized the
governor for failing to handle the funds deficit in addition to a mounting
debate over bail reforms enacted final yr. Cuomo and different Democrats
have signaled they’re open to creating adjustments to the statute.

In
his preview bulletins over the previous month, Cuomo has launched
proposals to ban untraceable weapons, examine excessive pace rail, enable liquor
gross sales in film theaters, require using American-made metal and iron
on infrastructure tasks and ease guidelines for prosecuting sexual
assault involving intoxicated victims, amongst different initiatives.

Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, mentioned lawmakers have their very own priorities this yr, together with working to extend college help, reasonably priced housing, infrastructure, native companies, rural hospitals and psychological healthcare.

By Marina Villeneuve and Ryan Tarinelli

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