Via press release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers in the Legislature touted the agreement they reached late Tuesday tonight, with the Democratic governor calling the deal a “major step forward.”
The deal calls for four private, resort-style casinos to be located in three regions of the state: the Catskills, the Southern Tier and the Capital Region. The final agreement bumped up tax rates on slots for developers from Cuomo’s original proposal, putting them more in line with what the current racetrack casinos pay.
The Legislature is set to vote on the measure Friday, and it would also need approval from the public at the ballot box in November.
“This legislation is a major step forward in our efforts to both capitalize on this economic development and tourism potential and end the trend of letting neighboring states with legalized gaming take revenue that should be going to our schools,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Legislature to make this economic development ‘game plan’ a reality.”
Cuomo, Senate Co-Leaders Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver came to the agreement shortly before midnight Tuesday. The bill memo is below, followed by statements by the legislative leaders.
(AP file photo)
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County: “This agreement paves the way for critically important economic development to take place throughout Upstate New York and will build on our efforts to revitalize communities, invest in schools and provide statewide property tax relief. I thank the Governor, the Speaker, and Senate Racing Chairman John Bonacic—who was instrumental in achieving this agreement—for their hard work. This plan, if approved by voters, will greatly benefit Upstate New York and all regions of the state.”
Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx: “We need to provide upstate and central New York communities with every opportunity to stimulate their local economies and build a long-term growth strategy. If the people of New York agree that this is a fair and smart way of doing so, these regions will be provided with one of the most promising opportunities in years. Critically, this plan presents a clear opportunity to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding for our schools and our children. I am pleased that this agreement establishes the sound, non-political criteria for resort selection that New Yorkers deserve. I commend my colleagues for uniting around a strong proposal that elevates economic development, funding for our schools, and local property tax relief above all else.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan: “Expanding casino gaming has the potential to provide an economic boost for several upstate regions, create new jobs and increase our state’s viability as a true vacation destination. Other states have experienced the benefits of gaming and now voters will have the opportunity to decide.”