Associated Press

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state Department of Health is boosting New York's medical marijuana program to meet growing demand.

Effective immediately, nurse practitioners can register online and certify patients the same day. Officials say that will help streamline and simplify the registration process and make it easier for nurse practitioners to speed up the process.

The Health Department also has approved the addition of a second course on the medical use of marijuana for nurse practitioners who want to participate in the state program.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached an agreement with New York state to settle a lawsuit over voter registration opportunities through state motor vehicle offices.

Federal investigators found applications for New York driver's licenses, permits and identification cards didn't consistently serve as applications for voter registration for federal elections as required by law.

Under a settlement agreement, New York will make sure a voter registration opportunity will be included with all applications for driver's licenses and renewals.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York has raised the age of marriage to 17, replacing a law that allowed children as young as 14 to legally wed. 

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure Tuesday. The law requires individuals 17 or 18 to get judicial and parental approval before marrying. 

New York had been one of only three states that allowed 14-year-olds to marry, the others being North Carolina and Alaska. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A new report from New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli concludes that state officials can do more to protect residents from drinking water contamination.

The findings are part of an analysis released by DiNapoli's office on Monday. They come after potentially harmful industrial chemicals were found in water in Newburgh and Hoosick Falls.

The Democratic comptroller says those and other recent incidents of contamination revealed vulnerabilities in the state's drinking water supply.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A plan to permit movie theaters in New York to seek a license to serve alcohol appears to be a flop.

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters Monday that he opposes the idea on safety grounds. Heastie's comments all but ensure the proposal won't pass this year.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched the idea last winter, saying allowing theaters to serve alcohol would be a boon to both theaters and the state's burgeoning craft beverage industry.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state government news, lawmakers are entering their final week of work in Albany and control of New York City schools remains the top issue.

Meanwhile, bills to protect the environment, crack down on heroin- and opioid-dealing and bar alcohol in movie theaters hang in the balance.

Another piece of high-profile legislation would extend the statute of limitations to allow molestation victims to sue for potentially decades-old abuse.

The session is scheduled to end Wednesday.

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NY State Police

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP) — Campus sexual assault is the topic of a day-long training session planned by New York State Police.

More than 120 campus administrators, victim advocates and others are expected to attend Monday's session at the State University of New York at Geneseo. Among topics to be addressed — domestic violence, stalking and how to preserve digital evidence.

The training is being presented by the state police Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit.

Office of Gov. Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York state has hosted its first ever demonstration of a driverless vehicle on public roads.

During Tuesday's test drive in Albany two engineers rode in the vehicle for about six miles. State officials say the engineers monitored the ride at all times to ensure safety.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed the demonstration as a "major milestone" in the development of a technology that he says is the "next frontier" in transportation.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers are considering new rules for the solitary confinement of prison inmates.

Legislation before the Assembly and Senate would restrict confinement to no more than 15 consecutive days unless an inmate is sent to a special residential rehabilitation unit. The bill also would prohibit solitary imprisonment for young, elderly and pregnant prisoners.



ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A multimillion-dollar project to dredge Rochester Harbor is wrapping up.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, (D-Fairport), says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will finish the navigational dredging this week. Crews this season have removed more than 180,000 cubic yards (137,619 cubic meters) from the Port of Rochester and 5,000 cubic yards (3,822 cubic meters) from nearby Irondequoit Bay. Workers also dredged last summer.

Slaughter says she has secured more than $5 million since 2013 for the dredging project.