News from the Associated Press - April 17, 2014

Associated Press
April 17, 2014

Judge rejects challenge to NY's tougher gun law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A trial-level judge has ruled that New York's new gun law does not violate the Second Amendment.

Wednesday's decision from state Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara also rejected claims that the gun law was improperly pushed through the legislature by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo issued a "message of necessity" that let lawmakers approve the measure without the usual waiting period for the consideration of bills. The law bans the sale of many semi-automatic firearms.

McNamara ruled that plaintiff Robert Schulz failed to make his case that the law violates protections on gun rights and that Cuomo's emergency justification was false.

Schulz plans to appeal the ruling to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.


New York says 960,000 enrolled in health exchange

NEW YORK (AP) — The state Health Exchange says more than 960,000 New Yorkers have enrolled for insurance coverage by the final Tuesday deadline.

The Health Department said Wednesday enrollment for individual and family coverage since October includes more than 435,000 New Yorkers in the exchange's 16 private insurers and more than 525,000 in government-funded Medicaid.

The department says about 360,000 people completed applications, but did not finish the process.

The state says more than 70 percent were uninsured.

Open enrollment ended in March for 2014 coverage at state-approved rates, but the deadline was extended until Tuesday for people who started applying but didn't complete the process.

Individual enrollments will continue for people with special circumstances. Enrollments for Medicaid and for businesses with up to 50 employees will continue.


Official: 6 subpoenas in NY stock trade probe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - An official familiar with the investigation says the New York Attorney General's Office has issued subpoenas to six firms and sent a letter to another for details about split-second stock trading and any unfair advantages.

The official tells The Associated Press the subpoenas went last week to trading firms including Chicago-based Jump Trading LLC and Chopper Trading LLC and Tower Research Capital in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the subpoenas.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said advantages in computer hardware and placement enable some traders to get millisecond timing advances on trades.
His office, with New York authority to investigate securities fraud, is seeking details about trading strategies and special arrangements with trading venues.


Challenge to Corbett's GOP foe goes to high court

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Republican Party-backed effort to disqualify the lone primary challenger to Gov. Tom Corbett is headed to the state Supreme Court.

Lawyers filed the appeal Wednesday to a lower court decision that ruled that suburban Philadelphia businessman Bob Guzzardi can stay on the May 20 primary ballot.

The Guzzardi campaign says it'll vigorously defend the lower court decision.

In a Tuesday decision, Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled that Guzzardi had met the requirement for petition signatures, accurately represented his occupation on his nomination petition and wasn't to blame for failing to file certain paperwork by the March 11 deadline.


NY awards $95M in loans, tax credits for housing

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York officials say more than $95 million in tax credits and low-interest loans will help build and maintain almost 2,100 units of affordable housing around the state.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal funding for 37 projects is meant to leverage more than $435 million in grants, loans and private support.

Awards include $5.1 million to Housing Visions Consultants to rehabilitate four buildings and construct six new buildings in Syracuse, providing 49 units for households with incomes between 30 percent and 50 percent of area median income.

In Amsterdam, $8.2 million to Woodrow Townhomes is for preservation of 100 units of subsidized Mitchell Lama housing in Montgomery County.

Other projects are in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Saratoga, Dutchess, Nassau, Monroe, Clinton, Schuyler and Niagara counties.

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