It’s Monday. We await the news from the Legislature’s final day in session. Here’s a look at recent Opinion content published in The Journal News:
Sunday, June 19
Same-sex marriage: Editorial
We encourage Republicans in the state Senate to get the job done on same-sex marriage before the legislative session expires. We write:
Time to stop stalling a vote on marriage equality in the New York State Senate. Time to stop dredging up “what if” challenges and demanding fine-line changes for religious protections already covered in the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The Senate must vote Monday on same-sex marriage, and it should be in the affirmative.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has committed to getting a same-sex marriage bill passed in this session, told reporters Friday evening that he would continue to consider Republican concerns about protecting certain religious groups and organizations. “I am also a proponent of religious freedom, and separation of church and state, so these are both very important principles,” Cuomo said, “I don’t see one in competition with the other.” …
N.Y.’s Conservative Party: Commentary
Arthur V. Praete, a member of the Conservative Party and resident of New Rochelle, replies to a Community View piece from Bennett Gershman on the party’s influence. Prate argues that the state’s Conservative Party is a vital political voice.
Words of Wisdom: Commencement 2011
We rounded up pearls of humor, encouragement and inspiration offer by commencement speakers at Lower Hudson Valley colleges.
Phil Reisman assesses the seemingly endless political battle over the future of Playland.
Monday, June 20
Smoking bans: Editorial
We welcome news from Albany that the Legislature enacted a ban on smoking on MTA train platforms. We write:
Amid the furious bill-passing last week, the state Legislature voted in favor of strong lungs and passed a smoking ban for Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road outdoor platforms. The ban would become effective 90 days after the governor’s signature, which the bill deserves. …
… The station smoking ban includes outdoor ticketing and boarding areas, as well as platforms for trains operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries. This ban will be enforced by the MTA, with violators subject to a $100 fine.
Nonsmokers shouldn’t have to share tobacco-tainted air. Smokers, take note, there’s plenty of support to quit. Check with your local county health department.
Westchester Office for Women: Commentary
Diane Balistreti, senior manager of the Westchester County Office for Women, comments on recent news about her program and clarifies that a proposal from County Executive Rob Astorino to merge the office with the county’s youth bureau would not alter its mission.