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Andrew Cuomo pushes tax plan, crackdown on some doctors

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday proposed to crack down on physicians such as the Olympic doctor who was convicted of sexually abusing gymnasts.

Cuomo also proposed new funding to implement early voting before elections.

The plans were contained in Cuomo’s amendments to his 2018-19 state budget that he submitted to the State Legislature.

The amendments didn’t include Cuomo’s congestion pricing proposal to raise revenue for mass transit while reducing traffic congestion in Manhattan. That remains under negotiation with legislative leaders and could still become law this year, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said.

As expected, Cuomo included his proposal for a voluntary payroll tax and charitable contribution plan to help some high-earning New Yorkers who pay high property taxes.

Those voluntary programs would help some New Yorkers avoid increased federal income taxes under a new federal tax law. The federal tax law caps the deductibility of state and local taxes at $10,000 in exchange for doubling the standard deduction, which will result in a federal tax cut for most middle class New Yorkers.

Cuomo also proposes to “de-couple” the state tax code from the federal tax code to ease the effects of the cap on deductibility of state and local taxes.

New to the budget was a measure to order physicians charged with a felony, related to their practice, that may be a public threat, to immediately stop practicing medicine. The proposal comes after the conviction of Olympic physician Larry Nassar last month of sexually abusing girls and women for years.

Under current state law, a physician charged with such a felony but not convicted could continue practicing until the case is decided, Azzopardi said.

Other Cuomo proposals include:

  • Requiring pharmacists to provide flu vaccines for children 2 to 18 years, even if their families can’t pay. Current law doesn’t allow pharmacists to provide flu shots to anyone under 18.
  • Further restrict sex offenders whose victims were under 13 years old from traveling or living near schools and temporary shelters for families.
  • $7 million to implement a proposal to allow voting as early as 12 days before an election. Early voting would require legislative approval.

A budget negotiated with the legislature is due April 1.

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