Regional Briefs – May 1, 2015

16 Co-Workers Split $58M Lottery Jackpot 

NEW YORK – Sixteen co-workers of a Manhattan biopharmaceutical company on Thursday won the $58 million New York Mega Millions jackpot, The Associated Press reported. The “Lucky 16 Trust,” pooled their money ahead of the March 24 drawing. When they won, very little work was done that day.

300 Attend NYC’s Rent Board Meeting on Rate Hikes

NEW YORK – About 300 people attended Wednesday’s meeting of the Rent Board, their first since appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, The New York Times reported. Tenants call for a rent freeze and landlords want a 4.2 percent hike on one-year leases and a 6.75 percent on two-year leases. A final vote will be in June.

NY Senate OKs New Environmental Crime

ALBANY – The Senate voted Tuesday to make damaging the environment while committing another offense a separate crime. For example, a recent copper theft caused a fuel spill that cost $1 million to clean up. The bill now heads to the Assembly.

Top NY Officials May Use Police Sirens on Personal Cars

ALBANY – Top Cuomo officials may use police sirens on their personal cars, a new regulation published Wednesday decrees. Included are the commissioners of Environment, Transportation and Homeland Security, along with two top Cuomo aides. The sirens allow them to defy speed limits or road closures during an emergency.

Bill Requiring Warning Label on Sugary Sodas Advances in NY

ALBANY – A proposal to make sugary drink companies place a health label passed on Wednesday the Assembly’s Codes Committee, often a bill’s last stop before a floor vote, The Associated Press reported. The measure faces big obstacles, particularly in the GOP-led Senate. Retailers question why sodas are singled out from other sugar sources.

NY Assembly Approves Mental Health Tax Check-Off

ALBANY – The Assembly voted Tuesday for a new tax check-off to allow taxpayers to donate to a special fund dedicated to eliminating the stigma of mental illness. The bill now heads to the Senate.