ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo late Wednesday night gave his approval to a city plan to build a cutting-edge pre-kindergarten school at the New York Hall of Science.
Cuomo, just before midnight, signed legislation that would allow the city Department of Education to use a portion of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the $50 million Pre-K Center, which would enroll 300 kids and focus on science, engineering, math and the arts.
Because the school will be located on land designated as a park, Cuomo and the state Legislature had to approve its use.
“STEM education is an important part of my education policy and the purpose underlying the bill is a noble one,” Cuomo wrote in his approval measure.
In approving the measure, Cuomo, however, noted some flaws in the legislation, including a concern that the bill, as drafted, did not properly identify the property to be taken for the school and that the language in the legislation could jeopardize the Hall of Science’s license. The governor said the Legislature had agreed to address those concerns through amendments.
The school legislation was one of dozens of bills that Cuomo either signed or vetoed late Wednesday night. The bills were adopted by the Legislature before it adjourned for the year in June.
Cuomo vetoed a measure sought by anti-smoking advocates that would have required all sellers of electronic cigarettes to register with the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
In vetoing the measure, Cuomo said he supported the purpose of the bill — to better regulate e-cigarette sales — but noted that “until the definition of ‘tobacco product’ is modified to include e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine products, the department has no meaningful authority to enforce the bill’s registration requirements.”
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), the bill’s sponsor, was critical of Cuomo’s move.
“Without requiring e-cigarette retailers to register with the state, we have no way to ensure their compliance with these critically important public health and safety regulations,” Rosenthal said. “If New York is serious about protecting young people against the dangers associated with e-cigarettes, then we would require all retailers to register.”
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