State Lawmakers Ditch Religious Vaccine Exemption

(Albany, NY) — New York State is doing away with the religious exemption for vaccines. The legislature has voted to remove all non-medical exemptions for immunizations. The measure was passed by both the Assembly and Senate yesterday and was quickly signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The move comes as New York continues to grapple with the one of the biggest measles outbreaks in decades. Opponents of the measure are vowing to challenge the new law in court.

Bill to Allow Illegals to Obtain a Drivers License Moves Forward

(Albany, NY) — A bill that would allow illegal immigrants to have New York State driver’s licenses has cleared another hurdle in the Legislature. The state Assembly approved the legislation yesterday by a final vote of 86 to 47. The matter was blocked for years in the Senate when Republicans had the majority. And even though Democrats are in charge of the Senate now, there’s no guarantee a bill will clear that chamber before the end of this year’s legislative session. Governor Cuomo says he’d sign the legislation if it gets to his desk.

Franklin County Leaders Announce Road Repair Plan

(SARANAC LAKE, NY) Franklin County leaders say they have a plan rebuild and repair local roads. Numerous roads will be repaired and resurfaced over the next two years. The road work will be funded by a combination of county funds, money left over from projects the previous year, state grant money.

New Details in Deadly Limo Crash

(Schoharie, NY) — New information has been released on the investigation into the deadly limo crash in Schoharie. The Times Union reports that last September 6th, a DOT investigator wrote an email to Nauman Hussain saying he’d asked the DMV to suspend the registrations of Hussain’s limos. One of the vehicles on the list was the Ford Excursion that had failed a safety inspection. The DMV lifted the suspension on September 20th, and just weeks later, the vehicle was involved in a tragedy that left 20 people dead. Hussain is facing 20 counts of manslaughter and 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide. He’s set to go on trial in January.

Franklin County Leaders Approve Pay Raise for Public Defenders Office

(TUPPER LAKE, NY) Franklin County leaders met Monday and approved an increase to the starting salary for attorneys in the public defender’s office to build interest in positions. The defender’s office has been having a tough time attracting candidates due to the low pay and long hours.

State Game Commission Approves Sports Betting at Upstate Casinos

(Albany, NY) — The state Gaming Commission has given its final approval to allow sports betting at four upstate casinos. That means folks will be soon able to place their bets at Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady. But, that can’t happen until the approved facilities get their wagering licenses. That process could take until later this summer.

State DEC Conducts Moose Census

(TUPPER LAKE, NY) – The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking the public to report moose sightings as part of a multi-year project. The 2018 map of moose sightings by town indicates the vast majority of moose sightings occur within the Blue Line and North Country. The DEC estimates there are anywhere from 400 to about 1,000 moose in the state. Last year, the public reported 220 moose sightings, which the DEC said is a big jump from 2017’s 163. People who see a moose can report it online or by emailing the DEC. People can also submit photos of moose for inclusion on the DEC’s website.

New Fireworks Rules for Lake Placid

(LAKE PLACID, NY) – With an eye toward the Fourth of July, Members of the Lake Placid village board adopt a local law that restricts who can set off fireworks and allows law enforcement to write tickets for noncompliance. The local law passed Monday limits fireworks displays to events sponsored by the Olympic Regional Development, the office of tourism or the Village.

Illegal Immigrant Drivers License Bill Advances

(Albany, NY) — Illegal immigrants are one step closer to being able to get a New York State driver’s license. The proposal cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee yesterday, and a vote in the full chamber could happen in the coming days. Governor Cuomo has made passing the legislation one of his top priorities before lawmakers leave Albany June 19th.

Cuomo Doubts Passage of Recreational Weed Bill

(ALBANY, NY) – NYGovernor Andrew Cuomo is throwing cold water on efforts to legalize marijuana. He says there’s just not enough support in the state Senate to pass the bill. Cuomo also believes New Jersey’s failure to pass legislation made the issue more complicated in New York. Lawmakers say they’re going to continue trying to come up with legislation that will pass ahead of the summer. The bill would legalize the recreational use of pot for people who are 21 and older. The legislative session ends on June 19th.