Cuomo’s ’18 agenda: Legal fights over taxes, opioid epidemic
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his state of the state address Wedneday.
Some of the top proposals:
FEDERAL TAX LAWSUIT: Sue to challenge the new Republican tax overhaul, which he calls an unconstitutional assault on state’s rights. The new law caps a former deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000, a move that Cuomo says will lead to big tax increases for many homeowners in high-tax states like New York.
OPIOID EPIDEMIC: New York will join the growing list of states taking legal action against pharmaceutical companies over the opioid epidemic, vowing to work with the state Attorney General’s Office to take “enforcement actions” against opioid distributors in the U.S.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: A new, uniform sexual harassment policy for all state and local officials in response to the national attention on sexual misconduct in the workplace.
ELECTION INTEGRITY: Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election have prompted proposals from Cuomo and lawmakers to require the disclosure of groups paying for online political ads.
VOTING REFORMS: New York is now one of a minority of states that don’t allow early voting. Cuomo wants to allow voters to cast a ballot up to 12 days before an election. He’s also seeking changes to voter registration to make it easier for more people to participate.
EDUCATION: Enhance and expand early childhood programming and improve access to food at school to ensure no student goes hungry.
CLEAN ENERGY: More offshore wind energy projects in New York waters. Cuomo wants New York to seek 800 megawatts of new offshore wind projects in 2018 and 2019, enough to power 400,000 households.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime would have to surrender any firearms.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Eliminate longstanding practice of requiring defendants to post monetary bail in misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases.
ECONOMY: $750 million for more regional economic development competitions and $100 million for another round of downtown revitalization funding.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Invest $11.7 billion on transportation systems, including upgrading Stewart Airport in the Hudson Valley to handle more international flights, expand cashless tolling to all Port Authority crossings in the New York City area as well as the entire Thruway system, and upgrade all 27 Thruway service areas through a public-private partnership.
FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT: Wants to see New York state’s pension fund get out of investing in fossil fuels.