Posts tagged with "New York State"

NY Governor to direct $35 million to support abortion providers statewide

May 12, 2022

Governor Kathy Hochul  has announced that New York State will invest tens of millions of dollars toward abortion care and providers with the prospect of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning  Roe v. Wadelooming, following the leak of a draft opinion indicating that would happen, reports New York Magazine.

On Tuesday, May 10, Hochul revealed that $35 million will be allocated to the cause statewide. She is directing the state health department to create an abortion-provider fund which will receive $25 million in funding to later distribute to those who provide abortion care. The governor says the money will come from the health commissioner’s emergency fund, so the funding won’t need to be reallocated for that purpose.

The remaining $10 million will be disbursed by the Division of Criminal Justice Services as “safety and security capital grants” to help bolster the security at reproductive-health clinics and other abortion providers and to secure the safety of their patients and staff.

The distribution of the funds would begin as soon as an official decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is reached and announced by the Supreme Court.

“To truly ensure that anyone seeking an abortion in New York has access to that, we have to ensure that the providers have the resources and the capacity to accommodate all patients who walk through their doors,” Hochul said during a  virtual press conference. “It’s simple. If we’re going to guarantee the right to an abortion, we have to guarantee access to an abortion.”

Hochul called the abortion-provider fund “nation-leading” and the first fund of its kind in the State of New York.

“We’re not playing defense. We’re playing offense,” Hochul said.

Hochul’s announcement comes a day after state Attorney General Letitia James declared her support for  legislation  that would establish a state program to expand abortion access for low-income New Yorkers and also for those traveling to New York from another state seeking care.

Research contact: @NYMag

Cuomo violated federal, state laws as he sexually harassed multiple women, NY attorney general says

August 4, 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women—and then retaliated against a former employee who complained publicly about his conduct, according to a bombshell report released on Tuesday, August 3, by State Attorney General Letitia James.

The monthslong probe concluded that Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women, and in doing so violated federal and state law,” James said at a press conference.

The 165-page report—which comprises interviews with 179 witnesses and a review of tens of thousands of documents—also said that Cuomo’s office was riddled with fear and intimidation, and was a hostile work environment for many staffers.

According to a report by CNBC, the report confirms that Cuomo harassed members of his own staff, members of the public; and other state employees, one of whom was a state trooper, the report alleges.

The findings reveal “a deeply disturbing, yet clear, picture,” James said, describing Cuomo’s office as “a toxic workplace.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated calls for Cuomo to step down just after James’ report was released, and several other high-profile pol—including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks and Tom Suozzi didn’t take long to join the chorus.

“It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as governor,” de Blasio said. “He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately.”

Cuomo defended himself just hours after the report was released. In an appearance carried by WPIX-TV/Channel 11, Cuomo said, “[I deny] ever sexually harassing people,” and went on to show a photo montage of himself touching people’s faces and kissing them on the cheek.

“I actually learned it from my mother and from my father,” he said. “It is meant to convey warmth, nothing more.”

Cuomo said it’s something he does with everyone and that it’s something he’s done his entire life: “Black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street.”

Research contact: @CNBC

Gone to pot: New York legalizes recreational weed; expects to collect $350M in taxes annually

April 1, 2021

On March 31, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation  (S.854-A/A.1248-A) passed by state lawmakers the night before to legalize adult-use cannabis in New York State, CNBC reports.

That makes New York the 15th state, along with the District of Columbia, to have legalized the drug for recreational use by adults. Legalization is effective immediately— but legal recreational sales are not expected to begin for one or two years.

 “This is [an] historic day. I thank the Leader and Speaker and the tireless advocacy of so many,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter after signing the legislation.

According to a press release from Cuomo’s office, the bill establishes the Office of Cannabis Management to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that covers medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp. The bill also expands New York State’s existing medical marijuana and cannabinoid hemp programs.

The legislation provides licensing for marijuana producers, distributors, retailers, and other actors in the cannabis market, and creates a social and economic equity program to assist individuals disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement that want to participate in the industry.

The development of an adult-use cannabis industry in New York State under this legislation has the potential to create significant economic opportunities for New Yorkers and the State. Tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350 million annually. Additionally, there is the potential for this new industry to create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the State.

He elaborated in a statement Tuesday night after passage of the bill. “For too long the prohibition of cannabis disproportionately targeted communities of color with harsh prison sentences; and, after years of hard work, this landmark legislation provides justice for long-marginalized communities, embraces a new industry that will grow the economy, and establishes substantial safety guards for the public.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he supports the legislation on the basis of racial equity. “I think this bill goes a long way. I think there’s more to do after, but it goes a long way,” de Blasio said, according to WDTV ABC 11.

The decision to legalize weed comes after neighboring state New Jersey recently legalized the plant. Lawmakers’ goal was to pass the bill as part of the state budget before the April 1 deadline.

According to CNBC, legalization is expected to eventually rake in billions of dollars in revenue for the state and for New York City in particular, with a hefty 13% tax, which includes a 9% state tax and a 4% local tax. The measure also includes a potency tax of as much as 3 cents per milligram of THC, the natural psychoactive component of marijuana that delivers the plant’s high.

The measure allows for possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana and 24 ounces of marijuana concentrate and allows for the growth of up to six plants at home.

The legislation also creates equity programs to provide loans and grants to people—including small farmers who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

The bill will expunge the criminal records of tens of thousands of people, has a goal of 40% revenue reinvestment into communities of color, and will grant 50% of adult-use licenses to social equity applicants and small businesses.

The bill also is meant to establish “a well-regulated industry to ensure consumers know exactly what they are getting when they purchase cannabis.”


Research contact: @CNBC

New York voters oppose Constitutional Convention by more than 2-1

November 4, 2017

America’s founding fathers would have said “pshaw” to the very idea, if you ask voters in the Empire State: By a wide margin, 57% to 25 %, likely voters say they will vote ‘no’ on New York State’s Constitutional Convention proposal on the November 7 ballot.

By a similar 60% to 29% margin, likely voters say it “will be an expensive waste of time,” rather than a “once- in- a-generation opportunity” to bring the state’s Constitution into the 21st Century,’ according to findings of a Siena College poll released November 1.

The New York State Constitution mandates that every 20 years voters should decide whether to hold a statewide constitutional convention. A vote in favor of the so-called “ConCon” could impact every state resident—opening a virtual Pandora’s Box of legislative changes that could wreak havoc with free public education, pension plans, the right to unionize and much more. Likely also up for discussion would be the legalization of recreational marijuana and term limits for state legislators.

More than one-third of likely voters say they’ve heard or read a great deal about the ConCon and another 27% say they’ve seen or heard something about it, according to findings of the Sienna College poll. Only 19% say they’ve read or heard nothing about ConCon.

There are already two constitutional amendments on the ballot—one related to pension forfeiture for public officers convicted of felonies related to their official duties; another, related to the land bank for the Adirondacks and Catskill Mountains. Both have the support of every region and party.

With a traditionally smaller voter turnout expected for the off-year election, Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg says, “ “The decision of whether or not New York should hold a Constitutional Convention in 2019 will likely be decided by a small minority of New Yorkers – those who both vote in Tuesday’s election, and remember to flip the ballot to the back to vote on ConCon.”

Greenberg notes, “With less than a week till election day, those likely voters are decidedly negative about supporting ConCon. In fact, only one-quarter of likely voters say they’re prepared to vote ‘yes.’ “While a small plurality of likely New York City voters opposes ConCon, strong majorities of downstate suburbanites and upstate voters oppose it. Democrats and independents oppose ConCon by about two-to-one, while Republicans oppose it better than three-to-one.”

In a divided political climate, ConCon unites voters across the ideological spectrum. It is opposed by 55% of moderates, 56% of liberals and 60% of conservatives, the poll has determined. Non-union households oppose ConCon by 23 points and union households oppose it by 50 points.

“The Siena College Poll was conducted October 25 through October 29, among 814 New York State likely voters, by telephone.

Research or Steve Greenberg (518-469-9858)