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May 19, 2019

New Yorkers support legalizing pot, congestion pricing, and the Child Victims Act, new poll finds

January 14, 2019
Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday is expected to include a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in his state budget proposal. (Jefferson Siegel / New York Daily News)

ALBANY — With the Democrats now controlling all of state government, New Yorkers seem ready for the progressive agenda they’ve been promised.

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A new Siena College poll released Monday morning shows overwhelming support on issues like legalizing pot, enacting congestion pricing to raise money for the cash-strapped MTA, strengthening the state’s abortion laws, and passing the Child Victims Act to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice as adults.

“New Yorkers overall like what they’re hearing from Albany right now,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

According to the Siena poll, 56% of those surveyed support the legalization of recreational marijuana while 41% oppose it.

Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday is expected to include a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in his state budget proposal.

Siena also found by a 52% to 39% margin that New Yorkers statewide support Cuomo’s call for a congestion pricing plan he is expected to unveil Tuesday to help raise money for the MTA, including 56% in New York City.

Those in the suburbs, who like outerborough residents would be hit hardest by the charge, were more split, with 47% supporting it and 44% opposing it.

The Siena College poll also found that 77% of New Yorkers support passage of the Child Victim Act that would make it easier for victims of child sex abuse to seek justice as adults.

Meanwhile, 63% of New Yorkers, including 59% of Catholics, back strengthening the state’s abortion laws, something the Legislature plans to take up next week and a measure Cuomo said he will sign.

On gun control, three quarters polled support increasing the waiting period on some gun purchases to 10 days, up from the current three.

But 57% did not like the three year’s worth of raises a commission recently granted the Legislature even though the pay hikes were tied to reforms like restricting legislator outside income and eliminating most legislative stipends, the poll found.

Nearly 60% of New Yorkers support eliminating cash bail for those charged with misdemeanor and non-violent felony crimes.

New Yorkers by a 58% to 39% margin back the creation of a state DREAM Act to provide the college student kids of undocumented immigrants access to state college tuition assistance, including 74% in New York City and 54% in the suburbs.

Upstate, just 44% support it while 52% oppose it.

Six out of 10 surveyed support closing that allows corporations to skirt state campaign contribution limits and virtually give unlimited amounts by creating what is known as limited liability companies.

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New Yorkers also overwhelmingly support adding anti-anti-discrimination protections for transgender people, Cuomo’s call to ban corporate campaign contributions, and making permanent a cap on local property tax hikes outside New York City to 2% a year.

After having cruised to re-election to a third term in November with nearly 60% of the vote over Republican Marc Molinaro, Cuomo’s favorability rating as the new legislative session starts stands at 51% while 43% view him unfavorably. Among Democrats, 68% have a favorable view of the governor while just 22% of Republicans and 46% of independents.

Nearly half now consider Cuomo a liberal.

“Clearly the governor’s efforts to highlight his opposition to the President and push what he calls ‘the most progressive agenda’ in tate history is resonating with New yOrkers since more now call him a liberal and fewer call him a moderate or conservative than every before,” Greenberg said.

But his job approval rating, though up from the middle of 2018, still remains under water with just 43% say he is doing an excellent or good job and 56% believing he’s done a fair or poor job.

Mayor de Blasio’s favorable rating rests at 34% while 16% view him unfavorably, virtually unchanged from November. In New York City, 52% view him favorably while 42% have a unfavorable view of the mayor.

Nearly 70% either don’t know or have no opinion on new Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who last week became the first woman to head a majority state legislative conference.

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