Capitol Watch

Cuomo pushes for action on vaping, sick leave

WBEN Newsroom
February 23, 2020 - 7:53 am

(WBEN/AP)  New York’s governor is urging lawmakers to act swiftly on banning flavored electronic cigarettes and requiring paid sick leave. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is using radio interviews and public appearances to argue those policy goals have the best chance of succeeding if the Legislature passes them as part of his $178 billion budget. It’s unclear whether lawmakers will pass the governor’s legislative agenda in the state budget due April 1 or instead move ahead on their own bills. On both vaping and sick leave, the proposals of the governor and legislators are similar.  

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has lost his bid to get a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision to uphold part of his corruption conviction. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals closed the door Friday on a request to have a three-judge panel that decided his appeal or the full 2nd Circuit reconsider the case. A 2nd Circuit panel recently upheld his conviction but ordered a resentencing after reversing his conviction on some charges. A lawyer for the 76-year-old Silver declined comment. Silver was first convicted in 2015 on bribery and extortion charges. After that verdict was overturned on appeal, Silver was convicted again in 2018.

New York's attorney general says she plans to sue New York City for $810 million for inflating the price of the taxi medallions that allow a person to operate a yellow cab. Attorney General Letitia James says the city auctioned off medallions at artificially high prices for years. She says government should be "a source of justice, not a vehicle for fraudulent practices.” The value of a taxi medallion has plummeted from over $1 million in 2013 to less than $200,000 now. That's left thousands of owner-drivers in debt. A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio says the mayor has worked to improve the situation.

New York's governor is offering to allow federal officials access to the state's motor vehicle database but not to drivers' Social Security numbers. It's part of an effort to persuade the Trump administration to let state residents back into Global Entry and other frequent traveler programs. The proposal is the latest compromise that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is publicly floating in hopes President Donald Trump's administration will reverse its decision announced earlier this month to prevents New Yorkers from enrolling or re-enrolling in programs that let them skip long security lines at airports. But Cuomo says the Trump administration rejected the idea when he proposed it privately weeks ago.



Comments ()