Queens Lawmakers On The Move March 28, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Gillibrand Announces Provision In Omnibus Package Protecting Medical Marijuana Use

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced the inclusion of a provision in the Omnibus Appropriations package to protect state medical marijuana laws earlier this week.

The provision will prohibit the use of federal funds by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to interfere with the implementation of states’ medical marijuana laws. Even though 29 states and the District of Columbia have made medical marijuana legal, marijuana in any form is still prohibited at the federal level.

Gillibrand has been an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana us, co-sponsoring The  Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, that would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies.

“I am pleased that this provision is included in the Omnibus Appropriations package so that the Department of Justice cannot interfere with states’ rights to implement their medical marijuana laws,” said Gillibrand.

“Parents should be able to give their sick children the medicine they need without having to fear that they will be prosecuted. Veterans should be able to come home from combat and use the medicine they need without having to fear that they will be prosecuted,” added Gillibrand.

Braunstein, Vallone Call On DOE To Let Principals Lock School Entrances

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein
City Council Member Paul Vallone

Assembly member Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) and City Council member Paul Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone) are calling on the Department of Education (DOE) to allow principals the discretion to lock school entrances in cases of emergencies.

The call comes more than a month after the tragic mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that has since sparked a national conversation about school safety. Just his past weekend, led by surviors of the Marjory Stoneman High School Shooting, thousands of protestors and teenagers marched on Washington, D.C., for the first annual March For Our Lives.

In recent weeks, different suggestions have been put forth about how to make schools safer. One idea that has generated interest and is currently being considered is reversing the DOE policy that prohibits school principals from keeping the front door locked during the day. The importance of allowing Principals the discretion to lock the doors to their schools was highlighted just two weeks ago when a suspicious man entered P.S. 184 multiple times and needed to be escorted out by security. These events ignited serious concerns among parents and teachers.

“Granting public school principals this same authority to confirm whether or not an individual represents a threat before allowing them into a school could prevent dangerous incidents from taking place. It is a change we must consider,” said Braunstein.

“When it comes to our students’ safety, we need to be proactive, not reactive, and Principals should have the autonomy to decide when they think it is appropriate to preemptively lock their school entrances. This request is just the first step in a series of changes that must be made. This must remain our top priority from here on out as we lead the charge for safety in our schools,” said Vallone.

Katz To Hold Public Land Use Hearing

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz/via Facebook

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a regular Public Hearing on Land Use this week.

The items on the hearings agenda include an application to the City Map involving the elimination, discontinuation and closing of a portion of North Conduit Avenue between Springfield Boulevard and 144th Avenue and the adjustment of grades and block dimensions necessitated thereby.

The hearing is slated for 10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 29, at Queens Borough Hall, at 120-55 Queens Blvd in Kew Gardens.

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