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Court strikes down NY mask mandate, Sheldon Silver is dead, Takeout alcohol, Redistricting effort flounders, Empire State Winter Games are on, Cannabis superstore in 1000 Islands

Indoor mask mandates undone by state Supreme Court

Governor Hochul vowed to challenge a Long Island judges ruling that the indoor mask mandate put in place by Hochul is illegal. The judges decision found that the Governor did not have the authority to put the mandate in place. That supreme court judge explained in his decision that only the state legislature has the power to enact such a mandate. Legislative leadership has indicated it may to just that if necessary. Read the Governors reaction.

The New York State Department of Education quickly issued a response to the court decision, stating that it will continue to require masks inside schools and at sporting events. Read the whole scoop from Albany

Silver

Former State Senator Sheldon Silver Dies in Prison

The disgraced former state senator was incarcerated in a federal medical prison serving a 6 year sentence for corruption and other public crimes. Silver was a major power-broker in Albany for forty years, serving as Assembly Speaker until his 2015 resignation. The former speaker was found guilty of using his position of power to enrich himself via his partnership in a law firm. While Silver was serving as Speaker, he steered millions of dollars in state contracts to the firm. He was 77.

One margarita to go please

Perhaps one of the lasting lessons learned in the pandemic is that New Yorkers like their booze. Takeout cocktails, or to-go alcoholic beverages have been a key ingredient in keeping the hospitality industry afloat. Most restaurants with a liquor license have been able to keep bartenders busy making drinks to-go. Apparently this change in NY liquor law could become permanent. Governor Hochul included the new law allowing cocktails to-go in her recently released executive budget for 2023. Industry advocates say that takeout Moscow Mules could be a reality as soon as April 1st, 2022. The New York State Liquor Authority reminded licensees that currently only beer, wine, and mead maybe sold to go. Read the whole story:

https://www.newyorkupstate.com/food/2022/01/takeout-alcohol-gains-momentum-but-still-likely-months-away.html

Redistricting NYS a mess

Lawmakers attempt to establish new legislative districts in the Empire State has become, as predicted, a political sideshow. The state redistricting commission, a bi-partisan group, could not reach an agreement before the statutory deadline of February 1st. Democrats blamed Republicans, who in turn blamed Democrats for refusing to make changes in order to stall the effort. That tactic appears to have worked for Democrats. With a defunct commission unable to reach an agreement before the deadline, the Democratic lead state legislature will be charged with establishing new districts. While this doesn’t appear to be major headlines, the new districts will likely solidify Democratic power over New York state for years to come. Read the nitty gritty here.

Empire State Winter Games Return this February

The largest outdoor winter sporting event on the continent starts next week in the Adirondack Mountains of NYS. The games will beheld in multiple locations from February 3rd through the 6th, produced by a partnership between several communities and a regional tourism agency. A full range of winter sport competitions are planned, including six adaptive events for athletes with a physical disability. Check out the games website for the full schedule and location of each event. https://www.empirestatewintergames.com/

Cannabis superstore coming to the 1000 Islands

New York’s Mohawk St. Regis tribe has been well ahead of the curve since the state legalized cannabis in 2021. An early wave of dispensaries has ushered in what could be a major economic boom for all state tribes. As the state inches closer to opening the retail marketplace, the St. Regis are already growing a massive crop of cannabis to sell the planned “superstore.” The new retail operation will be located in Akwesasne, NY and under tribal regulations, all cannabis sold must be cultivated in Akwesasne. Read more about this story…..

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