Tompkins/Cortland Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton On 2019 Legislative Session

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The 2019 New York legislative session saw the passage of a raft of legislation that has been blocked in previous years. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton spoke with WSKG’s Celia Clarke in the Ithaca studio. She represents Tompkins County and part of Cortland County in the state Assembly. Lifton spoke about the new farm labor rights, legalization of electrically-assisted bicycles and scooters, and why she thinks marijuana legalization is inevitable. The conversation begins with Lifton talking what she considers the most important accomplishment of the session.

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After Resistance, PA Health Officials Must Release Medical Marijuana Details

HARRISBURG (WSKG) — For several months, the state Health Department has been refusing to disclose who is on the panels that scored applications for medical marijuana licenses. But now, the Department of Open Records is ordering the agency to release the information.  The Open Records decision comes after protracted back-and-forth between the DOH and PennLive. After releasing permits to grow, process and sell medical marijuana to select applicants, the department wouldn’t name the panelists who had made those decisions. The agency argued that might make panelists vulnerable to threats or bribes. But Erik Arneson, executive director of Open Records, said that reasoning is flawed.

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With PA Pursuing Proceeds, Is Party Pot A Possible Plan?

HARRISBURG (WSKG) – As GOP leaders search high and low for more than two billion dollars to patch the commonwealth’s budget gaps, one state senator is trying to tempt his colleagues with revenue projections from one of his longtime pet issues–recreational marijuana.  Over the last several years, Democrat Daylin Leach has never had much luck getting the legislature to take recreational weed seriously. The Montgomery County lawmaker said he still doesn’t have any illusions about getting a bill on the table for the current budget. Instead, he’s hoping new revenue estimates–which his staff put together with help from budget experts–grease the wheels for the coming years. Especially, he said, because they show significant, recurring revenue. “We’re heading into a period of enormous, unsustainable structural deficit, and a reluctance to raise any sort of money necessary to address them,” he said.