As Senate Session Ends, Battles Continue

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

state capitol Capitol building in Albany (Karen DeWitt/WXXI)

New York's legislative session comes to a close Thursday, and there's still plenty of unfinished business, including legislation that would legalize medical marijuana, address the growing heroin epidemic, and lower the speed limit in New York City to 25 miles per hour.

Capital New York's Albany Bureau Chief Jimmy Vielkind has been covering the last-minute negotiations. He said lawmakers have reached an agreement on heroin legislation that would create state-issued medical standards aimed at cutting down on disputes between insurers and care providers, as well as launch a public awareness campaign on the dangers of the drug.

As for a bill that would legalize medical marijuana, Vielkind said there's still debate, particularly over whether the drug should be available in a smokeable form. "This issue is still being hashed out," Vielkind said. "It's basically the main sticking point."

In another end-of-session battle, the city is seeking state approval to change the speed limit to 25 miles per hour. Vielkind said it's still unclear whether that legislation will be brought to the Senate floor.

"Perhaps this is a reminder from Senator Skelos to Mayor De Blasio that...he does hold sway over his fate, and certainly will for the next week and quite possibly will after the next election cycle," he said.

Produced by:

Annmarie Fertoli


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