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AROUND THE STATE

Statewide crackdown on seat belts begins

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York drivers and their passengers better make sure they're buckled up.

State police will be running a two-week crackdown on seat belts starting today and running through June 3.

The State Police will join about 400 local law enforcement units across New York to enforce the seat belt law.

The law says all people in a vehicle's front seats have to wear seat belts. So do all children under 16 years old, no matter what seat they're in. All children under 8 years old must be in an appropriate child restraint system.

Drivers can get points on their license and pay a fine of up to $100 for each passenger under 16 not wearing a seat belt. Front-seat passengers who are over 16 can be fined $50 if they're caught without a seat belt.

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Pension fund invested in state businesses

ALBANY (AP) -- State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says his office has invested nearly $600 million from the massive public worker pension fund in New York companies since 2001.

DiNapoli says the pension fund has invested in 218 companies.

The Democrat says more than 3,000 jobs have been created by employers using the investments from the pension fund. He says the companies that received investments from the fund also raised nearly $4 billion in additional capital.

Last week, DiNapoli announced a nearly $13 million investment in the mattress retailer called Sleepy's, based on Long Island.

State comptrollers must first protect and grow the pension fund. Since 2000, comptrollers have tried to direct some investments in New York.

Other investments include companies in New York City, Albany and Rochester.

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$15 million invested in high-tech energy

ALBANY (AP) -- The state is providing $15 million to that will help companies develop high-technology energy products and jobs.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says the money will be divided among three companies statewide. The state is inviting universities, scientist and research organizations to partner with businesses to move breakthroughs in laboratories to market.

The money will be used to accelerate the sale of innovations and attract private sector investment.

The recipients will be chosen soon.