NYS Bans Synthetic Marijuana — And the Rest of Your March 30 State and Local News
Don Perkins reports…
NYS Bans Synthetic Marijuana
New York State’s Department of Health has banned the sale of synthetic marijuana. The governor and the state health commissioner made the announcement yesterday. It prohibits the sale of products labeled “Spice, K2, Mr. Nice Guy and Galaxy Gold”.
The products were made from non-marijuana plants sprayed with the kind of chemicals that gives marijuana its active properties.
Under the order, stores must stop selling the products immediately. The fake pot has been the cause of severe adverse reactions including kidney failure, increased heart rates, seizures, and even death according to the health department.
Crouch Prepares For Redistricting, Focuses on School Aid
One of central New York’s longest-serving state lawmakers has announced his intention to run for office again. This time, however, republican assemblyman Clifford Crouch will have to change his business cards if he wins. Crouch currently serves the 107th district, which will change to the 122nd district with similar boundaries. Crouch is from Guilford and has been in the assembly since 1995. The district will now include towns in Otsego and more towns in Chenango County through to Broome County, giving up parts of Ulster and Delaware counties. Crouch says his immediate priority is the school aid formula and school funding in general.
Schools Districts Learn State Compensation
School districts across the region are finding out today how much state aid they are getting in next year’s state budget. There’s $805 million more than last year. Some of that money will be divided up using a school aid formula based on the wealth of the district and the student population. $125 million will be given our through competitive grants.
Central New York State senator James Seward says he’s pleased some of the money will be funneled to high need, low wealth districts. The per-student figures show the final budget gives districts $480 per pupil for low-wealth districts, $225 per pupil for average districts, and $91 for high-wealth districts.
School administrators and boards will study the budget plan to see if the final outcome of the spending plan gives them enough money to avoid some of the planned closures, consolidations, and cutbacks planned for a worst-case state aid budget proposal. The legislature and governor came to an agreement earlier this week.
Anschutz Challenges Zoning Decision
A natural gas drilling company is taking a central New York community to court over its zoning decisions.
The Anschutz Exploration Corporation will appeal the Tompkins County Town of Dryden’s gas drilling court decision to prohibit “extractive industry” activity within its borders. The ruling was upheld by a county Supreme Court judge in February. Anschutz claims New York State’s environmental laws pre-empt the local laws. The Otsego county town of Middlefield has a similar decision, with a county judge deciding that township is within its rights to ban oil and gas drilling. An appeal may be filed in that case also by another gas company.
State Prison Visitors Require Photo ID
Those who visit inmates at state prisons will soon have to show a photo ID to get in.
The State Department of corrections and community supervision will put new rules into place by October. In addition to the photo ID, visitors will be photographed and that picture will be kept on file by the prison for their records.
The kinds of IDs that will be accepted include a driver’s license, DMV non-photo identification, armed services card, or employment identification tags.
The move is designed to strengthen prison security according to corrections officials.
Lawmakers Continue Budget Approvals
State lawmakers will be back in Albany today to wrap up the major part of budget bill approvals.
The legislature approved three budget bills on Wednesday. Those cover transportation, economic development, public safety, environmental issues and consolidation and merger.
Today the assembly and senate will take up education, healthcare, construction projects and state operations.
State to Auction High-Mileage Vehicles
New York State is in the used car business already, retiring former vehicles it doesn’t need anymore. But this year it’s using the online auction site E-Bay to unload 450 vehicles it doesn’t need anymore.
The so-called “high mileage” cars and trucks are parked in a state parking lot near Albany. The list includes a 1968 ford pickup truck with a plow.
The surplus sale guarantees savings to the average taxpayer because this batch of vehicles won’t be replaced. The state will shrink its fleet by nearly 5-thousand.
The office of general services is in charge of the sale. The minimum bid on anything is $500. The sale begins on Tuesday.
Oneonta State senior outfielder, Kevin Knack, has been named to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week as released on its website yesterday afternoon. The senior had a huge week at the plate for the Red Dragons as they wrapped up their spring trip to Florida while opening its SUNYAC schedule.
Women’s College Lacrosse
The Oneonta State women’s lacrosse team has started fast out of the gate and, after taking down #17 Hamilton this past Tuesday, has started to raise some eyebrows around the country. The team, which has many newcomers and a first-year coach, is off to a 6-0 start, which is its best beginning to a season since 2003 when the Red Dragons won the first seven games of the season. Oneonta will put its undefeated record on the line this Saturday when they host Buffalo State in the SUNYAC opener for both teams. The Bengals come to town with an overall record of 7-2, which includes a one-goal win versus Hamilton earlier in the season. Although it’s the first conference game of the season, the winner may find themselves in the driver’s seat in the early going.
Meanwhile, Hartwick College Senior Hannah Kennedy, sophomore Ali Sisco, and freshman Jackie Moynihan combined for eight goals as the ‘Wick hung on for an 11-10 victory over Cazenovia on Thursday at Wright Stadium. The victory ups the Hawks’ overall record to 4-3. Hartwick opens up Empire 8 Conference play this Saturday on the road at Utica. Game time is schedule for 3 p.m.