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Governor Paterson Vetoes 23 Policy Bills from Legislature

Paterson Has vetoed 23 bills from the State Legislature. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Paterson Has vetoed 23 bills from the State Legislature. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/WCBS 880) — The sippy cup warning label fight is over in New York, for now.

The bill that required a dental decay warning on sippy cups and baby bottles was among 23 vetoes Gov. David Paterson issued Monday. He also vetoed a pension sweetener for prison guards and a measure that would have required retailers to sanitize used mattresses in the battle against bedbugs in New York City.

The Democrat also signed nearly 100 bills into law, including one allowing licensed midwives to deliver babies without written practice agreements with physicians. Another will require gas stations that provide full- and self-service sales to provide full service to disabled drivers at the cheaper, self-service price.

For now, though, New Yorkers will have to take their chances with sippy cups. The warning label would have noted the risk of early childhood tooth decay from undefined prolonged use of a “vessel with a duckbilled lid, bill-shaped extension or bill-shaped spout.” The legislation also covered baby bottles.

Trafficking in sippy cups without warning labels would have resulted in a civil penalty of up to $250 for the first offense and $1,000 for repeat offenders.

“Brief warning labels are simply not the best vehicle to convey detailed information about general parental practice and proper use of a product that is not inherently dangerous,” Paterson wrote in his veto message.

A New York Daily News editorial in June had called the bill “nanny statism run mad.”

The Legislature could still try to override the veto.

In other action, Paterson vetoed a bill that would have allowed employees in the state Corrections Department and Office of Mental Health to store up some of their four or five weeks vacation each year for a cash pay out when they retire.

Paterson said that could add up to a half-year’s pay and result in compensation for vacation time that was earned at a lower rate of salary in years previous. Lawmakers had argued it was a good incentive to retain corrections officers and could have cut down overtime costs.

Under a bill he signed, New York joins 15 states that don’t require licensed midwives to have written agreements with doctors to provide an alternative birthing method in homes or in hospitals.

“The 1,300 licensed midwives in New York perform about 15 percent of the non-cesarean deliveries, with exceptionally high rates of successful outcomes and patient satisfaction,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, who co-sponsored the bill. “The written practice agreement is an unnecessary restriction that blocks many midwives from serving the community.”

The bill could also expand midwifery, eliminating an obstacle to establishing a practice in rural areas with few physicians, said Sen. Thomas Duane, a Manhattan Democrat and co-sponsor.

Paterson vetoed a measure the Legislature passed to combat the bedbug infestation in New York City. The bill would have required all used bedding to be sanitized before being transported, stored or sold with new bedding. The bill would also require annual inspections of bedding retailers, rather than the current random process.

Paterson said the bill would cost the state an additional $600,000 and the hiring of eight employees.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)