NYS Marijuana update:

Cuomo: "I believe we can come to an agreement, but I don't know"

Albany, N.Y. (WBEN) - The top three outstanding issues for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as the state legislative session winds down, are, prevailing wage, driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and marijuana legalization. 

The Governor updated WAMC Radio in Albany on unresolved issues Monday morning.  

MARIJUANA

"I believe we can come to an agreement that will pass, but I don't know," said Gov. Cuomo. He said the main issue is how much the state mandates. The issue, he said divides the state regionally and generationally.  There are two questions when it comes to localities. "If a county opts-in, then must all local governments be included?," Cuomo asked.  The second option is whether the locality; and not the county opts-in.  "It's not what Albany County does; but rather the city of Albany," he said. That's where negotiations stand as of Monday.  "I don't think we can run roughshod over local governments, not should we," said Cuomo.

PREVAILING WAGE

"Prevailing wage is an issue that is getting politicized, said Cuomo. "I support raising the prevailing wage. I'm a pro-union governor and always have been.  How it's done is often the secret mystery with all these things. If you do prevailing wage wrong, you'll actually cost union jobs," he said. Cuomo disagrees with the current bills in both chambers but said he is willing to make an agreement. Otherwise he will veto a bad bill, because he doesn't want to lose jobs when he works so hard to create them. 

GREEN LIGHT BILL (DRIVER'S LICENSES FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS)

"The Driver's license bill is an issue that is very controversial in the state, second only to marijuana," said Cuomo.  "People have very strong feelings, but that's the story with all of these issues like guns or a women's right to choose. It's intensely personal," said Cuomo. "You make enemies when you pass one of these bills.  I passed gun control right after Sandy Hook and the gun people never forgave me. My polling numbers went down. But you're here to do the right thing, even if it's the tough thing."  Cuomo said he doesn't think it's the politics on driver's licenses, it's how they write the bill.  "We have to write a law that does not have an unintended consequence. "You could be creating a database for the feds to use to track down undocumented people.  It's a legal question more than anything else, Cuomo said.

Asked again if the state is on the verge of legal recreational marijuana sales, the Governor said, "We don't know. I believe we can come to an agreement that will pass, but I don't know.''

The State Senate and Assembly plan to adjourn the 6 month session on Wednesday. 

 

 

 

 

 

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