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Cuomo calls for voting reform, legal pot, new tolls in state of the state speech

January 15, 2019 - 3:14 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Governor Cuomo deliveried his state of the state speech on Tuesday afternoon, and released his $170 billion state budget proposal.

RELATED: Cuomo bans stretch limos and issues new safety laws in wake of deadly crash | Cuomo: Let cities opt out of pot shops if NY legalizes weed | Cuomo wants complete control over the MTA

  MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

    Permit personal use by adults 21 and older and license retail pot shops. Give counties and large cities the power to prohibit retail pot shops within their boundaries. Taxes would be imposed at the cultivation, wholesale and retail levels, generating an estimated $300 million a year that would go to mental health and anti-addiction programs. No details yet on whether Cuomo would allow home cultivation.

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    PLASTIC BAG BAN/BOTTLE BILL

    Ban single-use plastic bags given to customers, a proposal that was shot down last year by the then-Republican-controlled Senate. State environmental conservation officials would work with environmentalists and community leaders to ensure the ban doesn't have an adverse impact on lower-income New Yorkers.

    Expand the bottle bill to include 5-cent deposits on most non-alcoholic containers such as sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable beverages, and ready-to-drink bottled tea and coffee. Dairy milk, milk substitutes, infant formula, syrups and flavorings would be exempted.

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    EDUCATION

    Increase aid by $956 million for a total of $27.7 billion, including another $338 million in Foundation Aid, the general operating funding for school districts.

    Continued transformation of struggling schools into community hubs would get another $50 million for a total of $250 million.

    Expanded pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds in high-need school districts would get an additional $15 million.

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    HEALTH CARE

    Prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21.

    Pass legislation strengthening women's access to abortion services by codifying the protections from Roe v. Wade into state law and making the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision part of the state Constitution.

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    VOTING REFORM

    Cuomo supports the state electoral reforms passed Monday by the Legislature, including early voting, consolidating primaries, same-day voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting. Cuomo also wants all polling places to open at 6 a.m. for primaries. In most of upstate New York, polls don't open until noon for primaries.

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    NYC CONGESTION TOLL

    The governor proposes a new congestion toll on vehicles heading below 60th Street in Manhattan starting in 2021. He hasn't suggested a toll amount, however, or whether discounts would be given to small businesses or low-income commuters. The final details will be negotiated with lawmakers. Cuomo says billions of dollars in revenue would support upgrades and repairs to the city's aging subway system.

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    LIMOUISINE SAFETY

    Stricter regulating of limos in response to the October crash of a stretch limo that killed 20 people in an upstate town. Ban reconfigured limos like the modified SUV that crashed into a store parking lot in Schoharie. The dozen statutory reforms include making it a felony to remove a state-issued out-of-service sticker from a vehicle without having the vehicle cleared by the Department of Transportation.

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    INFRASTRUCTURE

    Continue funding an ambitious, multi-year plan to improve highways, airports and rail facilities statewide. Projects include ongoing improvements to New York City airports and planned upgrades for Manhattan's Penn Station.

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    CRIMINAL JUSTICE

    Eliminate the statute of limitations on rape.

    Abolish cash bail so that only those considered a public safety threat are held pending trial.

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    ENVIRONMENT

    Another $500 million for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, maintain the Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million and an additional $110 million in capital funding for state parks and historic sites.