Broken Clouds 53° Good Afternoon
Broken Clouds 53° Good Afternoon

On our minds: Registry abuse, major recall, Albany

Newsday's editorial board spends all week striving to be a reasoned and pragmatic voice for Long Island and its values through our editorials and columns. We debate local, national and international issues and write on those we think will impact our readers.
Some topics come up that don't turn into longer pieces, but are part of the national conversation and worth bringing up. Here's how we're telling you about them.

This week, we discussed a new registry, the GM car defects and what's coming up in Albany you should know about.

Pretty soon we'll need a registry to keep track of all the registries

The Nassau County Legislature approved an animal abuser
Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Nassau County Legislature approved an animal abuser registry Monday, and Suffolk County and New York City did the same recently. Nassau's online public registry will be operated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Adults convicted of animal cruelty must register with police, provide a name, address and photograph, and pay a $100 annual fee. Failure to register means fines of up to $1,000, and up to a year in jail. Shelters or retailers that knowingly provide a pet to a registrant will face fines from $500 to $1,500. We love pets. We hate abuse. But what's next? An online and public drunk registry, and fines for selling booze to those who can't hold their liquor? This registry seems like overkill, a move that most likely won't actually prevent animal cruelty.

Talk about oversight

13.6 million -- That's the number of vehicles
Photo Credit: EPA / Tannen Maury

13.6 million -- That's the number of vehicles General Motors has recalled so far this year. It dwarfs the 2.8 million vehicles the automaker sold in this country in 2013, and tops even the 9.7 million it sold globally. The flood of recalls is damage control. GM knew for a decade that ignition switches were faulty before recalling 2.6 million of them early this year. It can't afford any more foot-dragging. The decade-long delay makes you wonder whether federal regulators were asleep at the switch. Can they be recalled, too?

Clock is ticking for big move

There is less than four weeks left in
Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

There is less than four weeks left in the Albany legislation session, plenty of time for nothing to happen. Lawmakers have little money to spend and are not interested in passing groundbreaking laws in an election year, especially not in the Senate, where control of the chamber is up for grabs. There is one possible exception, legalization of marijuana for medical reasons. Under the proposal, pot could be prescribed to treat 20 medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. The health committee approved it last week and now it's before finance committee, whose chairman will bring it to a vote only if he gets the nod from co-majority leader Dean Skelos. He's says he's taking a serious look. We hope so. Sponsors say the votes are there.