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The Empire

This Week in Politics: Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Pot, Genting Donations and Christie Backs Walker

On This Week in Politics, WNYC political reporters discuss the top political stories from the week, providing insight and analysis on local, state and national political issues that affect New Yorkers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Backs the Decriminalization of Small Amounts of Marijuana

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo put his political muscle behind a bill that would make the possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana a violation, not a crime ― meaning those caught are issued a ticket and pay a fine. Cuomo's sudden announcement took many by surprise, but it was a decision that had been unfolding for months. Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Cuomo's bill won't pass his chamber.

Plans for Convention Center Falls Through, but Governor Pushes for City Casinos

In January, Gov. Cuomo said the world's top developers would soon compete to propose a convention center and casino at New York City’s Aquaduct. The process would have taken more than a year and was depended on voters approving a referendum to rewrite the state constitution to allow Las Vegas-style casinos, which are now confined to Indian land. But this week, the governor scuttled those plans. It happened the same week  The New York Times reported that a group allied with Cuomo received $2 million from the gambling industry, and the Wall Street Journal reported that Cuomo met with officials from the gaming industry before he pushed to expand casino gambling in New York.

New Jersey Holds First Primary Election since Redistricting

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell beat out incumbent Steve Rothman in the state's newly drawn 9th District. In the 10th District, Donald Payne Jr. was elected to the seat his father held for over 20 years. But Gov. Chris Christie may have been the biggest winner: he was backing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as he faced a recall election.