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Banning "traffic hacking," and coming up short in the budget

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No car go: NYS might join the federal government in banning "traffic hacking."

There's new legislation in the state Senate and Assembly that would outlaw "traffic hacking" devices, like remotes that allow drivers to turn red lights green, reports Rick Karlin at the Times Union's Capitol Confidential:

The main danger, added Assemblyman David McDonough, the ranking Republican on the Transportation Committee, is that hackers aren’t equipped with the loud sirens that fire trucks and ambulances use when they are changing traffic lights on emergency calls (many of the devices, protected by a code, use infrared signals to change the lights from red to green). “You can hear that (a siren) a good half a block away,” said McDonough.

Closing the gap
The governor still has a gap, according to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli.  Joseph Spector reports at the Democrat and Chronicle's Vote Up! blog that there's still "$4 billion in yet-to-be-specified actions" in the governor's budget, necesary to close a $10 billion gap:

...DiNapoli also identified the risks in Cuomo’s plan, such as his reliance on committees and task forces to come up with how to close a $2.85 billion gap in Medicaid and $1.4 billion in state operations. Those committees are due to report their findings on March 1. “As a result, the impact of these savings on various health care services, government services and employment cannot yet be determined,” DiNapoli’s report states.

Redrawing the lines
Jill Terreri (also at Vote Up!) reports that former NYC mayor Ed Koch is threatening to lay the smackdown on lawmakers who don't co-sponsor independent redistricting legislation:

“March 1st is the benchmark date: I have asked all 138 sitting legislators who signed our pledges to add their names to the list of sponsors before then,” wrote former New York City Mayor Ed Koch in an e-mail to supporters today. ”I remain optimistic that most will keep their pledge and do so.”

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