Gov. Cuomo Proposes Study of Recreational Marijuana Legalization

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"Many of our neighboring states now allow for adult use and NY will miss out on billions in revenue and further expand the black market".

Governor Andrew Cuomo is detailing his eighth state budget this afternoon in the state's capital.

One way the governor is proposing deflecting any possible harm to NYS taxpayers from federal tax cuts: rewriting New York's tax code, so that the employer, not the emplolyee, pays.

"At the end of the transaction, it costs business nothing and the employee is held harmless from ... the loss of (state and local tax) deductibility", Cuomo said.

Cuomo outlined plans to deal with the federal tax changes that result in the loss of the state and local tax deductions, which hits NY and other relatively high-tax states hard.

Lawmakers hope to approve a budget by April 1.

Morning snow comes to an end, another round moves in tonight
Another bitterly cold start to the morning is expected for Wednesday morning with temperatures right around zero once again. By Wednesday the sun should come back out and gradually heat up the rest of the week to a high around 33 on Friday .

"I am comfortable that where we raised revenues, that it was fair, it was right, and it's not going to hurt the long-term economy", Cuomo said. Cuomo says 70 percent will go to the poorest districts, the highest ever. State Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican, has been talking to party members statewide about the prospect and former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has been toying with the idea of challenging Cuomo in a primary. The viability of this proposal, along with another proposal that gives tax credits to those who donate to government, will be outlined in a preliminary report by the state Department of Taxation and Finance set to be released Wednesday. But it also limited the deductions that individuals can take for state and local taxes - including income and property levies - to $10,000.

"We're doing everything we can to thwart the effects of the federal plan", the governor said.

New Jersey, which has its own medical marijuana program, also is considering legalizing the drug. Cuomo did not specifically embrace a legalization, and said the advisory panel, which will include State Police representation, is meant to get at the "facts". Chief Operations Officer Rick Fish said he feels for every employer that would have to work with its staff to determine what pay cut would be fair to compensate the shifting tax burden.

Meanwhile, education aid will increase about $769 million, or 3 percent. "I don't have a problem with our looking at it", he said.

NY is facing a projected $4-billion dollar deficit this year and a $2 billion in federal health care cuts. If state spending is kept below a 2 percent growth rate, then the more true deficit number is $1.7 billion, they said.