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Human trafficking bill caught up in legislative standoff

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Unless one side budges, a bill to combat human trafficking could again become a casualty to a standoff in the New York Legislature.

The legislation to increase penalties for sex traffickers passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/intelfreepress/8598246170/">Intel Free Press</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Intel Free Press, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Shumlin to sign ban on cellphones while driving

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is expected to sign a ban on using hand-held cellphones and other electronic devices while driving.  Go to full article
Berkshire blue cheese at New Amsterdam Market. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/susievision/4742362698">Susie Wyshak</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Berkshire blue cheese at New Amsterdam Market. Photo: Susie Wyshak, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

US Senators say FDA cheese rule hurts New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's U.S. senators are urging the Food and Drug Administration to issue better guidance for cheese aging, arguing that New York cheese makers will be hurt if they can't use wooden boards to age their cheese.

Democratic senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday said artisanal cheese makers in upstate New York are affected by the FDA's interpretation of a rule that could require costly changes to production.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/abardwell/82371497/">Andrew Bardwell</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Andrew Bardwell, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Senate passes tougher drunk driving penalties

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's Senate has passed a measure that would toughen penalties for multiple driving while intoxicated convictions.

Under the measure, a person convicted of three or more DWIs within 15 years would be charged with a Class D felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelleys/1286694297">Brian Kelley</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Brian Kelley, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Senate votes to make "revenge porn" illegal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) It would be illegal in New York to disseminate private, explicit photos of another person without their consent under legislation that's been endorsed by the state's Senate.

The Senate voted Wednesday to outlaw so-called "revenge porn," which is the practice of posting nude photos online without permission, to humiliate or harass the subject.  Go to full article

NY Assembly OKs yogurt as official state snack

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York is one step closer to making yogurt its official state snack. The state's Assembly endorsed the measure 85-1 on Wednesday. The legislation passed the Senate last month and now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for consideration.  Go to full article
NY Capitol. Photo: Trevor Alfred
NY Capitol. Photo: Trevor Alfred

16 arrested for New York state Capitol protest

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) State police say they've arrested 16 members of a disability rights advocacy group after they disrupted legislative work in the Assembly and remained in the Capitol after its 7 p.m. closing time.

Protesters from the Center for Disability Rights stormed the chamber Wednesday afternoon to push for action on legislation that would allow a new category of caregiver for the disabled. Advocates say inaction by the Legislature is keeping New York state from getting $350 million in federal funding.  Go to full article
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Peter_Shumlin_2012.jpg">Community College of Vermont</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. Photo: Community College of Vermont, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Shumlin signs toxic chemicals bill

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed a bill into law to protect children from exposure to toxic chemicals.

The law requires manufacturers to disclose if toxic chemicals that can cause harmful health effects are in products designed for children.  Go to full article
Outside an Ontario polling place in 2011. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/60990146@N02/6218761143/">knehcsg</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Outside an Ontario polling place in 2011. Photo: knehcsg, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Ontario candidates campaign through final day before election

It's the last day of campaigning ahead of tomorrow's provincial election. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is spending the day in Toronto, where her bus will make six stops.

Tory Leader Tim Hudak begins the day in Toronto, and then travels to Waterloo, Niagara Falls and Jarvis for a town hall.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will get some help from federal Leader Tom Mulcair, who will make an appearance at Horwath's final stop of the day in Kingston. Before that the NDP campaign will stop in Mississauga, Brampton, three Toronto ridings, Oshawa and Belleville.  Go to full article

New York Assembly backs gender anti-discrimination

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The New York Assembly has voted 91-51 to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

The measure was approved Tuesday by the Democrat-controlled Assembly for the seventh time. It hasn't advanced in the Senate controlled by a coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats.  Go to full article

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