Casinos, women's rights among Cuomo's many initiatives in State of the State

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to close loopholes on a state ban on assault weapons and ammunition clips that carry more than 10 bullets in his third State of the State speech. AP video. (Jan. 9)

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a slew of initiatives Wednesday in his State of the State speech. Here is a sampling:

-- A Women's Equality Act that would protect freedom of choice, promote pay equity, strengthen human trafficking laws, stop pregnancy discrimination and strengthen orders-of-protection.

--Ten higher education/private sector high-tech incubators will be selected as "Hot Spots" to help inventors and entrepreneurs support to grow their businesses. They will be tax-free zones, where start-ups will be exempt form business, property and sales taxes.

--A $50 million Innovation Venture Capital Fund to provide incentives for successful start-ups to stay in the state and grow.

--A $1 billion Green Bank to leverage public dollars with private matching funds "to spur the clean economy."

--Installation of a statewide network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

-- A "Job linkage" program to link community colleges with employers to identify jobs, define the necessary skills and provide the training for them. The state will pay for performance by funding colleges based on student job placement.

-- A "Taste-NY" initiative to promote New York products, including creating duty-free "Taste-NY" stores across the state.

-- A casino gaming plan would locate up to three casinos in Upstate New York. Gaming revenue would be split 90 percent for education and 10 percent for local property tax relief.

-- A competitive grant program for schools that develop initiatives to improve student achievement that include extending learning time by at least 25 percent.

-- A plan for the state to invest in full-day pre-kindergarten, beginning with highest-needs students.

-- High-performing "master teachers" would receive $15,000 in supplemental income annually for four years to teach other teachers.

-- A "NYSUNY2020" initiative to leverage the State's university system as a private sector job generator.

-- A "reasonable" minimum wage increase from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.75 an hour.

-- Decriminalize "open view" possession of marijuana from the current 25 grams to 15 grams or less.

-- To prevent wrongful convictions based on false confessions and to protect law enforcement officers from erroneous allegations of coercion, a proposal to require that interrogations of people arrested for serious crimes including homicide and kidnapping be recorded on video.

-- A $1 billion "House NY" program to produce or preserve 14,000 units of affordable housing over the next 5 years.

-- An initiative in which the state will work with hospitals in 2013 to improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients at key stages of hospital admission, treatment and discharge. New York would be the first state to require all hospitals to adopt best practices for the early identification and treatment of sepsis.

-- Tightening the state assault weapons ban and eliminating large capacity magazines regardless of date of manufacture.

-- Require background checks in gun transactions between private parties.

-- Increased penalties for illegal gun purchases, use of guns on school property and for those who engage in violent and serious drug-related gang activity.

-- A single statewide standard to ensure that the appropriate checks are run to bar convicted felons and other prohibited people from possessing firearms.

-- Criminalize the sale and possession of designer synthetic drugs including bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

-- Public financing of state elections based on a model used in New York City.

-- Lower limits on political campaign contributions.

-- An early voting system that is at least a week long, and includes the weekend before a scheduled Election Day.

-- An "OPEN NY" initiative to create a single-stop electronic portal for public access to statewide and agency-level data, reports, statistics, compilations and information.

-- A financial restructuring assistance program to offer advice to counties, cities, towns and villages to help restructure their finances.

-- Lowering the cap on CO2 emissions to a level guaranteeing "we will reduce emissions below current levels."

-- Updating the state building code to promote "smarter, resilient building performance, as well as increased survivability" in storms and disasters. The changes would apply to new construction and major renovations to existing construction.

-- A "Recreate NY" program to provide financial assistance to property owners to protect against future threats.

-- Aid for homeowners who want to relocate.

-- Consider construction of "flood-proof" subways and bus depots with vertical roll-down doors, vent closures, inflatable bladders, and large fixed pumps with back-up power.

-- Requiring gasoline stations in strategic locations to have on-site back-up power capacity.

-- Require existing wastewater treatment plants to be "repaired and mitigated to withstand higher flood levels."

-- Abolish the Long Island Power Authority and privatize electrical service on Long Island.

-- The state will create "uniform training and protocols" for all emergency personnel, including a SUNY/CUNY program certificate for all emergency workers in the state.

-- Develop a program to allow mass text messages to be sent to all wireless phones in a chosen geographic area. Explore establishment of a "one-stop disaster recovery communications hub" integrated with social networking, mobile messaging and chat tools.

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