Lawmakers originally planned to be passing bills by now, ready to wrap up the state budget and leave on a three week break beginning on Thursday.
But, instead of an agreement early in the week, each day lawmakers have found themselves discussing new issues , some of them totally unrelated to the spending plan. Most recently, talks have turned to whether to decriminalize public possession of marijuana in New York City, and walking back a provision of the recently enacted gun control laws.
New York State Senator Kathy Marchione, with Assemblyman Tony Jordon (left) and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (right) speaks at Saratoga Springs City Hall in support of the Casino Gaming Transparency Act, Monday, March 11, 2013.
Credit Office of New York State Senator Kathy Marchione
Casino gambling and New York’s new gun law, the SAFE Act, have emerged as two issues in Albany sparking a good deal of debate this session. Republican State Senator Kathy Marchione, of Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties, is leading an effort to repeal the gun law passed earlier this year in New York, and the first year lawmaker is also backing a measure that would require the locations of casinos to be known before lawmakers approve a constitutional amendment to allow them on non-Indian land.
Second Amendment rights advocates, who have held rallies in Albany recently, are not the only group upset with portions of the state’s recently enacted gun law. Some people with mental illnesses believe the law unfairly stigmatizes them. Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports.
The Dutchess County clerk has written to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in relation to implementing The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act. He is asking the state to reimburse Dutchess for the costs affiliated with enacting the legislation.
The opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York SAFE Act continues to ramp up this week. One Central New York Assemblyman has proposed new legislation amending the law to change how ‘assault weapons’ banned by it are defined. WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke recently with 118th District Assemblyman Marc Butler about his proposal.