July 8, 2014
NY becomes 23rd state to allow medical marijuana
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York has become the 23rd state in the U.S. to authorize medical marijuana - though the state's program is one of the nation's most restrictive.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law on Saturday and held a formal signing ceremony on Monday to highlight the new law.
When the program gets up and running in about 18 months, patients with diseases including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug.
Instead, the drug must be ingested or administered through a vaporizer or oil base.
Cuomo, a Democrat, says prohibiting smokeable marijuana will help keep the drug out of the wrong hands.
The compromise was one of the final measures passed by lawmakers before they adjourned last month.
NY to add $3B windfall to state budget
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York is poised to collect nearly $3.3 billion from a recent settlement with France's largest bank for violating U.S. trade sanctions and conducting dollar transactions for clients in Sudan, Iran and Cuba.
The Cuomo administration plans to add it to the state budget to keep spending down.
The $8.9 billion settlement by BNP Paribas acknowledges $190 billion in transactions through the bank's New York office and other branches while hiding client identities over a decade.
The bank has pleaded guilty to New York criminal charges of falsifying business records and conspiracy and faces a federal charge.
New York's civil penalty, due July 30, is $2.24 billion, with another $1.05 billion expected from reparations paid to the Manhattan district attorney.
The DA's office is set to receive nearly $449 million.
NY casino review board expands by 2 more members
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The board that will decide where four casinos will go in upstate New York state is getting two new members.
The state Gaming Commission on Monday appointed Dennis Glazer and Kevin Law to the Gaming Facility Location Board.
The board will pick the winning submissions for one of up to four available casino licenses.
Glazer is a lawyer and retired partner at the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he specialized in corporate law. His wife, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, resigned in 2013 as Gov. Andrew Cuomo's appointed head of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
Law is the president of the Long Island Association, a business organization. He co-chairs the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and formerly led the Long Island Power Authority.
Pa. clerk asks Supreme Court to halt gay marriage
POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania county clerk has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to suspend a federal ruling that allows gay couples to marry in the state.
Schuylkill County Orphans' Court Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney filed the request late Thursday afternoon. It was made public by the Supreme Court on Monday.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Pennsylvania since U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III struck down a state ban on May 20.
Gov. Tom Corbett's administration declined to appeal Jones' decision. But Santai-Gaffney wants Pennsylvania to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses while she appeals the ruling.
So far, Santai-Gaffney's efforts to intervene have been rebuffed by Jones and a federal appellate court. Now, she has appealed to the Supreme Court.
Pennsylvania was the last northeastern state to permit same-sex marriage.
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