Cuomo seeks $30M extra for Stony Brook medical facility

Stony Brook University should get an extra $30 million, for a total of $60 million, to help ensure that it can build a new Medical Research and Translation Center (MART), Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recommended Thursday.

The MART building will enable "physicians encountering problems at the patient's bedside" to work with researchers in the laboratory, the university says.

The project is part of the Democratic governor's NYSUNY 2020 program, which aims to spur economic development. The measure was included in the 30-day budget amendments he formally submitted to the legislature Thursday.


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The new funds, which will pay for electrical improvements and extending power to the new building, partly make up for the costs of a $98 million legal settlement, a budget official said. Gyrodyne Company of America Inc. in a July 2012 announcement of the settlement said the state had underpaid it for the 245.5 acres in St. James and Stony Brook that it took under the eminent domain law.

The real estate investment trust collected a total of nearly $168 million.

Under another proposal, motorists who talk or text on their handheld cellphones while driving would face stiffer penalties. Cuomo wants to lengthen the period during which it counts repeated violations to five years from 18 months.

In January, Cuomo proposed higher fines for these offenses, which include playing games or sending emails, as part of the new budget that starts on April 1. Currently, the maximum fine is $150 and three points against the driver's license. The governor proposed a $200 to $350 fine for a second violation, and a $400 to $550 fine for a third or subsequent violation.

Extending the so-called "look back" period would bring New York into line with federal regulations and make driving safer, according to the proposal.

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