Gov. Andrew Cuomo is non-committal when it comes to removing county clerks from office if they refuse to enforce the newly passed Green Light law. He, instead, is looking forward to its day in court. That was just one of the post-legislative session topics discussed on public radio Monday.
The Green Light law requires driver's licenses be issued to undocumented immigrants, but a number of county clerks across New York State - including Erie County's Mickey Kearns - say they will not enforce it.
Speaking on public radio station WAMC in Albany Monday, Cuomo said he would let the courts decide the matter.
"Driver's licenses are going to go immediately to court and that will everything," he said. "There are already threatened lawsuits by counties and county clerks and that issue will have to be litigated, because it is going to be, not just politically controversial, but a legally difficult issue."
Cuomo said another issue to be decided by the courts is whether the federal government can use or seize the state's Department of Motor Vehicles database to deport undocumented immigrants.
Just last week, Erie County lawmakers threw their support behind Kearns and ordered the county attorney to help defend his lawsuit against the Green Light.
The Governor also expressed disappointment that marijuana was not legalized during the sesssion. Cuomo said the opposition may have been in the minority, but they were loud.
"I believe they knew that it was statewide popular, but it is controversial. You know, in this state, even if it something is 60/40, the 40% can be intense. Marijuana is one of those issues," Cuomo said. "The opposition is realy adamant and annoyed and the legislators are saying, 'I don't want to alienate 45% of the people in my district, thank you very much."
Cuomo believes legalization would have been passed if it were included in the April state budget.
He is also making a third trip to Israel since taking office. The Governor leaves Wednesday for a trip aimed at strengthening economic ties and showing solidarity. He returns Friday.
"There's been a rash of anti-Semitism all across this country, the synogogue shootings, etc.," Cuomo said. "We've had it in this state, all across this state, and it's repugnant to what New Yorkers believe and feel and I hope there's a message of solidarity and partnership in my trip to Israel."
Cuomo said he intends to speak with software developers to see if they would be interested in helping the Metropolitan Transit Authority with its train navigation system. He also intends to speak with businesses involved in drone technology.