You could say Gov. Andrew Cuomo came out firing in his third State of the State address. He launched a seven-point plan that would give New York the strictest gun laws in the country.
"We must stop the madness," said Cuomo, D-New York.
The plan would:
give the state the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation
require federal background checks on private gun sales
ban high capacity magazines
tougher penalties for illegal gun use
keep guns from the mentally ill
ban direct sales of ammunition online in New York
and closely monitor all ammo sales in the state
"We need a gun policy in this state that is balanced and reasonable. We respect hunters and sportsmen, this is not about taking away people's guns," Cuomo said.
Also on the governor's agenda-- improving education. His plan is to require kids spend more time in the classroom. He wants pre-kindergarten students to spend a full day in the classroom. Also, Cuomo is asking all school districts to either extend the school year or school day, or a combination of both.
"If they do it, the state will give them 100 percent of the additional costs to give them an incentive to actually do it," Cuomo said.
A potential big economic boost for the North Country-- the governor wants to build three casinos in the upstate region. The idea is stop the 8 million New York City residents and 50 million annual visitors to the city from going to neighboring states to gamble. Towns would get to weigh in on whether they want a casino in their community. Ninety percent of the profits would go to the state education fund; the other 10 percent would provide local tax relief.
"As I have said before, if they visit, they will come back. And I believe casinos in upstate New York will be a great magnet to bring the New York City traffic up," Cuomo said.
"Spent time talking about full day pre-K which is just a critical piece of our education system, being prepared for storms certainly, talked about gun control, see how those bills come out and what that legislation is," said Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, R-Peru.
"I was encouraged by what the governor said and what he would like to see for upstate New York, putting a focus there, if there are going to be casinos there to focus visitors that way," said Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury.
Cuomo also urged lawmakers to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75 an hour, decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and tighten up campaign finance rules.
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