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Contentious Issues Face State Lawmakers in 2018

ALBANY – State lawmakers may deal with some controversial issues in 2018, as the state legislature’s agenda comes into focus. Among the issues lawmakers may decide to face are physician assisted suicide, New York City transit funding, longer statues of limitation for child molestation and tough budget questions as a projected $4 Billion deficit looms.
Advocates of allowing patients with terminal illnesses to request life-ending medication from doctors say this could be the year New York joins five states and Washington D.C. in allowing for physician-assisted death laws. They say recent polls show growing public support, but their agenda has faced stiff opposition, even among lawmakers.
New York City transit funding woes are likely to be taken up following a summer of delays, breakdowns and construction. One idea is congestion pricing — or the levying of an additional toll on motorists who enter the most densely populated areas of New York City. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s preparing a congestion pricing proposal for lawmakers. Transit supporters say lawmakers have no choice but to consider new ways to fund the system.

A bill to loosen the statute of limitations on child molestation so victims can sue their abusers decades later will also return. Supporters say they hope recent attention on allegations of sexual misconduct against several big names in Hollywood, media and politics will help overcome opposition in the Senate, which has so far blocked the bill.

Legislators are already predicting tougher-than-usual budget decisions next year, thanks to a projected $4 billion budget deficit and the threat of additional federal spending cuts from Washington.

The Assembly committees on health and aging meet Monday to discuss the quality of care for nursing home residents. The hearing in New York City was called to review federal regulations governing nursing homes as well as policies on nursing staff ratios, staff training and oversight.

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