Vermont law makers hear about climate worries in a joint hearing. And a new poll finds that New York's tough new gun-control law could be eroding Gov. Cuomo's approval ratings.
Gun group to sue over NY restrictions
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A gun owners' group has filed a notice of its intention to sue New York state in attempting to overturn the restrictive gun law passed two weeks ago.
The New York Rifle & Pistol Association, in a notice filed Tuesday, says passage and enforcement violate the constitutional right to bear arms and the right to privacy, and unconstitutionally criminalizes guns and magazines that were previously legal and restricts the ability to do business.
Other plaintiffs are the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association, the Sportsmen's Association for Firearms Education Inc. and AR15.COM LLC.
The law bans certain semi-automatic guns and large magazines, requires owners to register within a year any once-legal guns banned under the law's tighter definition of “assault weapons” and outlaws bringing them into New York from elsewhere.
Cuomo's abortion proposal faces Senate roadblock
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's Senate Republicans are slamming Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to expand abortion rights.
Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos says the proposal is just wrong.
Skelos, who runs the majority with six independent Democrats, calls Cuomo's proposal an extreme measure from the radical left. Under a power-sharing deal, Skelos could block the measure from a vote.
Skelos also says the change isn't needed in New York, where abortion is legal, paid for by Medicaid, and requires no parental notification.
Skelos sees no threat to abortion rights.
Advocates, however, are worried that the federal Roe v. Wade measure that legalized abortion will be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Skelos also says he doesn't think Democrats alone would have enough votes to pass Cuomo's proposal.
New poll shows lower approval ratings for Gov. Cuomo
A new poll finds that New York's tough new gun-control law could be eroding Governor Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings. The Quinnipiac University poll released today shows Cuomo's all-time high job approval rating last month of 74-percent is down to 59-percent.
Pollsters say much of the drop comes from Republicans. A few days before the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, 68-percent of New York Republicans polled supported Cuomo. The poll released today shows him with 44-percent approval among Republicans.
Half of voters in households with guns say they now disapprove of the Governor, with only 40-percent supporting him. Sixty-eight percent of voters in non-gun homes support him.
Maurice Carroll is director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. He says Governor Cuomo consistently has approval rates over 70-percent, which has given him the political capital to pass the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Carroll says Cuomo's current 2-to-1 job approval rating still makes him the envy of most governors.
NY education commissioner outlines Regents budget request
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Board of Regents is seeking a 3.5 percent increase in education aid from New York state in the next fiscal year.
That's more than the 3 percent general increase Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed.
Education Commissioner John King outlined the Regents' funding request to members of the Assembly and Senate during a joint budget hearing on Tuesday.
On Cuomo's proposal to include an additional $203 million in fiscal stabilization funds for districts, King cautioned against the use of one-shot solutions for ongoing problems.
He also said that while competitive grants like those Cuomo proposed are useful for certain pilot programs, like expanding learning time, programs that are proven effective, such as pre-kindergarten, should be available for all.
In all, Cuomo has proposed spending $889 million more on education next year.
Firefighters urge NY to ban novelty lighters
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Firefighters are urging New York state to ban novelty lighters that look like toys.
The Firemen's Association of the State of New York and other firefighters' groups say there have been too many cases of deaths, injuries and fires nationwide due to novelty lighter use among children.
Kids can be attracted to novelty lighters because they look like toys such as animals, cars or cartoon characters. They're sold in many convenience stores, gas stations and hardware stores
Fireman's association president Jim Burns says his group is strongly urging lawmakers to ban novelty lighters to keep our kids and families safe.
Vermont lawmakers to hear about climate worries
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Farmers, ski resort executives and others are set to testify to Vermont lawmakers about their concerns over the changing climate.
And then environmentalist and author Bill McKibben will address a joint session of the Legislature on that topic on Wednesday.
The day begins with a joint hearing by the House Agriculture, Commerce and Economic Development and Natural Resources and Energy committees.
The lawmakers will hear from some 25 witnesses on the various impacts the changing climate is having or is feared to have on Vermont.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)