Senator Also Applauds Governor's Push for Campaign Finance Reform, Decriminalization of Small Amounts of Marijuana, Minimum Wage Increase
ALBANY -- State Senator Daniel Squadron, the sponsor of legislation to close gaps in New York's assault weapons ban -- including by making illegal the military-style gun used in Newtown, CT and Webster, NY -- applauded Governor Cuomo's proposals to strengthen the state's gun laws, reform New York's campaign finance system, decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view, and raise New York's minimum wage, in today's State of the State.
In the fall, Squadron urged a special legislative session to strengthen New York's assault weapons ban and move forward other vital gun measures. Additionally, Squadron is continuing to urge the new Senate leadership to bring microstamping to a vote.
Squadron released the following statement:
"New Yorkers are crying out for the common sense protections that will help keep our streets and our families safe from gun violence. I've long carried legislation that would close major gaps in our assault weapons ban -- including the weapon used in Newtown and Webster. There is simply no reason for civilians to carry these military-style weapons. I applaud the Governor for making a tougher assault weapons ban part of his proposal.
"In addition, I stand with Senate Democrats, the Assembly, and the Governor in support of microstamping. Blocking the bill means depriving police of a vital, cost-effective tool to connect shell casings with their guns. It's simply mind-boggling that Senate Republicans would continue to block microstamping and let hundreds of murder and gun violence cases go unsolved each year. A majority of the members of the State Senate support this. I urge the new Senate leadership to bring microstamping to a vote.
"I also want to applaud the Governor's leadership on other critical issues.
"I've long pushed for public financing, and carry a package of bills that would lower campaign contribution limits and increase disclosure and enforcement. I couldn't agree more with the Governor: for government to serve New Yorkers and for New Yorkers to have faith in government, we must change the way Albany does business by reforming our campaign finance system.
"I also applaud the Governor for highlighting the in-plain-view marijuana possession statute and the inconsistent way it's enforced. In large parts of our city, entire communities feel like suspects targeted by law enforcement rather than citizens protected by it. The Governor's proposal to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in public view would be a critical step toward ending these inequities.
"Finally, I also thank the Governor for his continued support of a minimum wage increase. A strong New York depends on a system in which a job means security and a decent life. Yet New York remains behind the curve in supporting those who work hard to support themselves and their families. It's time to raise the minimum wage and ensure that New York is a gateway to real opportunity for all who seek it.
"These proposals would move New York forward in vital ways, and I look forward to working with the Governor to make them a reality."