ALBANY, N.Y. — A look at some of the top issues for the New York state Legislature during its 2019 session, which formally begins Wednesday and is scheduled to end June 19:
LEGALIZED MARIJUANA: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants adult recreational use of pot legalized within the first 100 days of the session. The third-term Democrat hopes that within that period he and the Democrat-controlled Legislature will have hashed out specifics of how legalized marijuana will be sold, taxed and regulated. Legal sales likely wouldn’t begin for another two years.
SPORTS BETTING: New Jersey already has it, and privately owned and Native American-owned casinos in New York are preparing for the state to approve legally wagering on college and professional sports.
CONGESTION TOLLS: Charging private and commercial vehicles to enter the busiest parts of Manhattan would raise billions of much-needed revenues for New York City’s aging subway system.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE: Many Democrats are pushing for a state-level, single-payer health care system.
CHILD VICTIMS ACT: Would extend the statute of limitations for child molestation and create a one-year window for victims to sue over old abuse claims. Opponents include the Roman Catholic Church.
CODIFYING ROE v. WADE: For years Senate Republicans blocked efforts to put federal legal protections of abortion rights in state law. With Democrats now in charge, however, supporters say it’s time to ensure those rights continue in New York if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.
GUN CONTROL: Proposals include banning bump stocks, extending the waiting period for buying a gun from three to 10 days, and enacting a “red flag” law that would allow police, or family members, to seek court orders temporarily removing guns from people deemed dangerous or unstable.
ETHICS REFORM: Cuomo is seeking to limit the amounts that limited liability companies can give to election campaigns, and he also wants to ban all campaign contributions from corporations.
ELECTION REFORM: Proposals include early voting, automatic voter registration when a person interacts with a state agency, combining state and federal primaries on the same day, and making Election Day a state holiday.
DREAM ACT: Extending financial aid to students who were brought to the nation illegally as children has long been a priority for liberals in the Legislature. With Republicans no longer in charge of the state Senate, Democrats think the bill’s time may have finally come.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS: They include elimination of cash bail and changes to the state parole system in an effort to reduce the number of people sent to prison and make the state’s criminal justice system fairer and more focused on rehabilitation.
PROPERTY TAX: Cuomo is proposing to make permanent the 2-percent cap on local property tax increases.AlertMe