Politics

NY lawmakers lessen penalty for pot possession

ALBANY — Lawmakers in New York state have voted to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana after efforts to legalize pot stalled. The measure would reduce low-level criminal charges for unlawful possession of marijuana to a violation, which comes with a ...

Lawmakers vote to curtail use of solitary confinement in NY prisons

ALBANY — New York is going to restrict the use of solitary confinement in state prisons, despite failing to pass legislation that would have prohibited putting a prisoner in isolation for more than 15 consecutive days. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and ...

APA nominations fall by wayside

RAY BROOK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has nominated four people to the state Adirondack Park Agency board — including a Lake Clear business owner — but some holdup in Albany means the agency will conduct business without a full board for the rest of this year at least. APA board members are ...

Lake Placid plans tax, water rate increase

LAKE PLACID — The village’s preliminary 2019-20 budget carries both a proposed tax increase and a water rate increase. The village is proposing to levy, or collect, $3,846,423 in taxes in 2019-20. In the current fiscal year, the village collected $3,728,498. That puts the levy increase ...

Senate, Assembly pass unruly camper bill

In the past two days the state Senate and Assembly have passed a bill clarifying the legal grounds for a campground to remove disruptive guests, and the legislation now will be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for final consideration. Under the proposed law, a campground owner could request a law ...

N.Y. lawmakers eye decriminalization after legal pot stalls

ALBANY (AP) — Lawmakers in New York state are considering a proposal to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana after efforts to legalize pot stalled. The legislation would replace low-level criminal charges with civil tickets similar to a parking ticket. ...

APA board nominations fall by wayside

RAY BROOK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has nominated four people to the state Adirondack Park Agency board — including a Lake Clear business owner — but some holdup in Albany means the agency will conduct business without a full board for the rest of this year at least. APA board members are ...

Essex County bed tax, EMS bills pass

Two bills, one that gives Essex County the authority to raise its occupancy tax and another that authorizes the county to contract with towns and fire districts to provide emergency medical services, both passed the state Legislature Wednesday, the last day of this year’s legislative ...

Albany approves land bank

A bill that would create a long-sought-after state land bank passed its final legislative hurdle on Wednesday and now waits for the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The land bank, officially known as the health and safety account, would provide 250 acres of land within the Adirondack and ...

H’town Republicans run Milne, Meagher, McLaughlin

SARANAC LAKE — The Harrietstown Republican Committee held its caucus for the Nov. 5 election Wednesday night, with no contests from within the party. According to committee head Joe Spadero, Patty Meagher and Ashley Milne were chosen to run for town council and Ken McLaughlin for town ...

Lawmakers OK emission cuts, drop legal pot

ALBANY — New York would adopt the nation’s most aggressive carbon emission reduction goals and give new rights to farmworkers under proposals moving through the state Legislature Wednesday. With the session scheduled to end Wednesday, lawmakers planned to work through the night to ...

Amid urgent climate warnings, EPA gives coal a reprieve

WASHINGTON — Amid scientists’ increasingly urgent warnings, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face Wednesday on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants in a move it predicted would revitalize America’s sagging coal ...

Legal pot hopes go up in smoke at NY Capitol

ALBANY — Despite statewide polling showing increased public support for legalized marijuana, a measure that would allow the sale and possession of recreational cannabis has hit a stone wall at the statehouse, people on both sides of the debate said Wednesday. One of the prime sponsors of ...

Stefanik rebuts Trump on accepting foreign ‘dirt’

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik on Thursday criticized President Donald Trump’s comments that his campaign would be open to accepting a foreign power’s help in his 2020 re-election bid. “I strongly believe that if any candidate for public office receives information from a foreign entity, ...

New York lawmakers OK driver’s licenses for immigrants in US illegally

ALBANY — New York will become the 13th state to authorize driver’s licenses for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally under legislation approved by lawmakers Monday night. The Democrat-led state Senate voted 33-29 in favor of the bill after several hours of debate, sending it to ...

At students’ urging, Tupper town passes climate resolution

TUPPER LAKE — This town board passed a resolution Thursday recognizing climate change and resolving to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Seven Tupper Lake Middle-High School students from the school’s Green Team, along with team adviser and special education teacher Lee ...

Wilmington supervisor challenger gets by challenge

Xiao Yan Saunderson narrowly survived a petition challenge to get onto the ballot Nov. 5, challenging Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston. The Essex County Board of Elections on Friday found that 11 of the objections Preston made on opposing Saunderson’s 40 signatures were valid, ...

Report: Catholic Church spent millions on lobbying

ALBANY — Lawyers for alleged victims of clergy abuse have issued a report spotlighting how the Catholic Church spent $2.9 million over eight years on lobbyists in New York to stall legislation that would make it easier for molestation survivors to sue for damages. The lobbying campaign ...

It’s crunch time for legal pot, immigrant licenses

ALBANY — In New York state government news, lawmakers are wrapping up the 2019 legislative session with big decisions on proposals to legalize recreational marijuana and authorize driver’s licenses for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally. The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly ...

Kimberly Davis launches 2020 Senate campaign

PLATTSBURGH — Kimberly Davis formally launched her campaign for a state Senate seat Tuesday, saying she will work to improve broadband and mobile telephone service in the region, and to create better social equality and services to help support all New Yorkers. “We need to support ...