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Independence Party of New York PO Box 7204 Albany, NY 12224 INDEPENDENCE PARTY OF NEW

Independence Party of New York

PO Box 7204 Albany, NY 12224


1. Medical Marijuana For the second year in a row, we are in support of the bill (S4406)

establishing Medical Marijuana in the State of New York. There are many suffering New Yorkers with diseases such as, but not limited to, various forms of cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and Glaucoma that can be significantly helped by this program. We further believe that the proposal for a for-profit model is the best way to bring forward this program for our state. The for-profit model, also known as Seed to Sale, would have all production from growth of each plant, processing of same and sale of the medical marijuana handled by private companies experienced in the Seed to Sale process. This model will bring thousands of jobs to New York State, as well as much needed revenue to the New York State tax base. As seen in other states, Seed to Sale companies are appropriately regulated and secure growing and sales facilities which operate within the framework of an efficient business model. We believe this is the best way to deploy a safe and efficient medical marijuana program for New York.

2. Common Core – It is clear that the state’s K-12 school system, our educators, parents and

children have been negatively impacted by the roll-out of the Common Core Curriculum. It is the strong belief of many in our leadership that a ‘THREE YEAR MORATORIAM’ of the Common Core Curriculum should be adopted. We praise Governor Cuomo and our legislative leaders for the reforms they have already implemented, such as reversing the impact of testing on teacher assessments and on students’ academic records. However, the stark reality is that Common Core is still negatively affecting our most precious assets, our children. Parents throughout the state have reported that the initiative has greatly impacted their children’s confidence. Teachers have expressed similar issues with the way the program was implemented; there was minimal training, resources or support to aid them in implementing the Common Core Standards into their curriculum.

The Common Core Curriculum is being repealed in cities and states across this nation because parents and educators know that there are fundamental issues with the testing and how it is tied to the new standards.

We strongly ask our Legislative leaders and the Governor to impose a THREE YEAR MORATORIUM to review the Common Core Curriculum, solicit parent and educator feedback, thoroughly review the associated standardized tests, and make recommended changes to the program’s implementation.

3. NYS Voter Registration Reform We support a critical revision in the New York State Voter

Registration Form. The Party’s leadership recognizes that individuals do sometimes unwittingly register as members of the Independence Party when their intent was to register to vote as a “blank”. A “blank” is an individual who has chosen not to register in one of the State-

recognized political parties. Presently, in section 14 on the form (see accompanying voter

registration form), it lists the six constituted political parties followed by a line the states, ‘other:

, which is followed by a line that states, ‘I do not wish to enroll in a party.’ To alleviate possible confusion, we are advocating for the State Board of Elections, by legislation be

authorized to make a simple change to the voter registration card.

bottom on section 14 should be moved to the top of the registration form which is the line, “I do not wish to enroll in a political party,” with the associated checkbox.

The specific language at the

4. Raise the Age For the first year, we are supporting a proposal to raise the age of adult

prosecution to 18. The legislation (A7553/S 4489) entitled, “An act to amend the criminal procedure law, the executive law, the judiciary law and the penal law, in relation to the age of criminal responsibility,” was introduced at the request of the Chief Judge of the State. Currently, New York is one of only two states in the nation to try 16 and 17 year olds as adults. Each year, over 45,000 16- and 17-year-olds are arrested as adults in New York State. Because they are defined by the law as adults, these youth can be questioned by police without parental notification and confined alongside adults in prisons and jails. This policy of sending youth to adult jails and prisons has been proven to increase their rate of future incarceration and criminal behavior. According to the bill’s sponsors, “Under this measure, judicial proceedings against 16- and 17-year-old offenders would be in a special part of court to be known as the Youth Division of superior court. The Youth Division would sit in Supreme Court in New York City and in County Court (and, occasionally, in Supreme Court) in counties outside the

City. It would be presided over by judges and justices specially trained in the issues of adolescent development, child psychology and therapeutic approaches to child pathology and juvenile crime.” We believe this is good public policy and urge our leaders to strongly consider passage of this legislation.

5. The Dream Act For the second year in a row we support legislation (S2378B/A2597A) that

would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to participate in the College Tuition Assistance Program. Presently, these children are denied access to financial aid and this bill would remedy that problem. This legislation would enable quality education for the children of undocumented immigrants, which would strengthen our State’s workforce and give these young people a greater chance to achieve the American Dream.