ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state government news, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has dropped — for now — a plan to force motor vehicle owners to replace all license plates that are more than 10 years old.
The proposal had run into immediate opposition from lawmakers, many of them upstate Republicans, who called it a money grab. It costs $25 to replace a license plate in New York.
Meanwhile, Cuomo has signed legislation setting the state’s presidential primary on April 28.
Here’s a look at stories making news:
STATE OF PLATE: Cuomo’s office says the governor will work with lawmakers to figure out what to do about old license plates that have deteriorated to the point where they can’t by read by police or the highway cameras the state now uses in many places to collect tolls.
Under Cuomo’s plan, plates would have expired on their 10th birthday, requiring motorists to fork over $25 for a new one.
Lawmakers quickly balked at the proposal, in part because it would have required replacement even when plates were in good shape.
Cuomo Senior Advisor Rich Azzopardi acknowledged Tuesday that the plan is dead for now.
“This proposal isn’t going forward as we have committed to working with the legislature to create a plan that ensures plates are readable by law enforcement and cashless tolling systems and creates a process where plates older than 10 years are inspected and, if still readable, can be kept,” Azzopardi said in a statement.
Currently, drivers can be ticketed by police or traffic enforcement agents for having an unreadable plate.
Meanwhile, the state still plans to use a design picked by state residents as New York’s next license plate.
The new plate design will feature the New York City skyline, Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty and a mountain range.
More than 325,000 votes were cast in the contest to select the new design. The winner got about half the vote.
PRIMARY SET: New Yorkers now know when they’ll be heading to the polls to cast primary ballots in the presidential race.
Legislation passed by lawmakers last spring and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this month sets the primary date as April 28, 2020.
Cuomo had suggested combining the presidential primary and primary elections for Congress and state offices into a single election day in February.
The idea quickly ran into resistance from top state lawmakers who noted that the Democratic Party could reduce the state’s delegate count at the convention as punishment for upending the primary calendar.
Current plans call for the state and congressional primary to be held June 23.
Cuomo isn’t giving up on his idea, however, and wants lawmakers to consider his proposal when they reconvene in Albany in January. He said multiple elections confuse and frustrate voters, driving down participation. Holding the state, congressional and presidential primaries on the same day would save $20 million, the governor’s office said.
Finally, Cuomo argues that moving the primary up to February, early on the primary calendar, would bolster the state’s national influence in picking nominees.
“At least fifteen other states have a single combined primary for presidential, federal and state races, and it is time for New York to do the same,” he said. “New Yorkers deserve a government that makes voting easier, not harder, and government should spend less of the taxpayer’s money to accomplish that goal, not more.”