Cuomo signs 35 bills, rejects sparkler sales

ALBANY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed 35 bills into law late Wednesday and vetoed 33 others, rejecting legislation that would have allowed the limited sale of sparklers and exempted small vending machine sales from tax.

Among those signed by Cuomo were bills increasing oversight of special-education providers, easing requirements for a business tax credit for hiring high-school students, modernizing state laws that govern non-profits and requiring manufacturers to collect old mercury thermostats.

The sparkler bill would have allowed for their sale -- along with other small firework devices, like "snaps" -- outside of New York City in the weeks preceding two holidays: the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve. It was a modified version of a bill vetoed by Cuomo last year, but the governor said he wants local governments to have a say.

The bill was sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, and Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County.

"I believe that a municipality should only be subject to this legislation if it has affirmatively enacted a local law election to be so covered," Cuomo wrote in his veto message. "For this reason, I disapprove this legislation."

Cuomo also vetoed a bill that would have required the state departments of Health and Mental Health to develop screening requirements for postpartum depression for new mothers, saying he believes practitioners are in the best position to diagnose.

The vending machine bill would have excluded sales of less than $1.50 from being subject to sales tax.

The special-education bill was pushed for by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office will now be authorized to audit education programs for preschoolers with disabilities every five years. Previous audits by DiNapoli's office have turned up hundreds of thousands of dollars misspent by some providers.

Cuomo's action Wednesday leaves him with 11 bills to act on before the end of the year.


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