Cuomo open to pushing casino referendum to 2014

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday reiterated his plan to place three non-Indian casinos upstate but said he’s open to pushing a public referendum on the proposal back to 2014.

Cuomo and his aides outlined their position on casinos as part of a public meeting of the governor’s cabinet Wednesday. The move would require an amendment to the state’s constitution, which means the public would have to approve the change at the ballot box in November.

But some lawmakers have raised concerns about the elections this coming November, where the New York City mayor’s race will garner the greatest turnout in a year where there are no state-level races.

“You would have the somewhat unusual circumstance of an election to site casinos in upstate where the largest turnout is New York City and New York City has no vested interest because there’s no casinos in New York City,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “That has been raised as a problem and I think it’s a significant problem.”

Lawmakers passed a constitutional amendment last year that would allow up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos statewide, and an amendment must be passed by consecutively elected Legislatures before it goes to a public vote. Now, Cuomo and legislative leaders are negotiating a bill to accompany the amendment that would control how and when the casinos are sited.

Cuomo said moving the vote to 2014, when all statewide elected officials will be on the ballot, is a possibility.

“That would be another option that I would be open to,” he said.

(AP Photo / Mike Groll)

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  1. More delay Here’s the reality… Under Cuomo NY has experienced the demise of 39,453 NY state businesses last year, Cuomo is raiding $1.75 billion from the reserves of the already over budget State Insurance Fund (SIF). Cuomo can not even hold on to his democratic majority which is in the middle of a corruption scandal with “show-me-the-money culture” and “pay-to-play politics” throughout Albany. Cuomo has disenfranchised the Northern and Western part of New York with his SAFE Act. Cuomo is afraid to make a decision, either way with respect to fracking, gambling or abortions. No matter what your position is, Cuomo is leaving New Yorkers with no resolution to these issues or the ability to move forward. New York has the highest taxes in the nation, is the most indebted state, with 33 percent of income dedicated to borrowing. It is ranked as the least “business-friendly” state in the country and if that were not bad enough NY has the distinction of being the least free state in the union and is called the “Nanny State” with politicians legislating what we eat and drink. Municipal governments from Nassau County to Yonkers to Syracuse are teetering. And during Mr. Cuomo’s time in office, unemployment has risen above the national average. 9% of the state’s 2000 population left for another state between 2000 and 2011 — the highest such figure in the nation, see the study by George Mason’s