News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
ALBANY - Measures signed into law this week include a ban on smoking near after-school programs, a ban on powdered alcohol, and further regulation of sharks, crabs, squids and other sea life.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill that bans smoking within 100 feet of schools during after-school programs. Homes located within that area are exempt.
Violations could result in fines and other action under state health law.
Cuomo also signed a measure outlawing freeze-dried, powdered or crystalline alcohol often called "palcohol."
Manufacturers have marketed the small packets to adult hikers so they could more easily transport liquor while backpacking. But the potential threat of youths using the packets to sneak drinks has led to bans in more than 20 states.
"This dangerous product is a public health disaster waiting to happen," Cuomo said.
The substance can be hidden and mixed into drinks to create more potent beverages and a danger to youths, the bill's sponsors said.
"For every substance or drug that has been abused by people in our communities, we often look back and ask ourselves if there is anything we could have done differently to prevent a wave of addiction from reaching the point of no return," said Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Utica). "There is absolutely no need whatsoever to introduce another form of alcohol that could only make it easier for minors to abuse."
Several more bills were signed into law that are among the thousands passed for state government to continue its operations. Several bills extended the state's jurisdiction to manage sharks, squids, black sea bass, an assortment of shell fish and the continued hunting and conservation of bear and deer.