Tag Archives: NYS Constitution

Voters say yes to five out of six proposed amendments to NY State Constitution


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Together with casting their ballots for a new mayor, voters gave the go-ahead to a proposal that could allow up to seven casinos to be brought into New York State, along with four other amendments.

On the back of the official ballot for the general election, voters were given the option to vote for six proposals that would each be an amendment to the Constitution.

The first proposal on the ballot was an amendment that would allow the government to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State. These casinos would be constructed in order to stimulate job growth, increase aid to schools, and allow local governments to decrease property taxes through gained revenues from the sites. This proposal was approved through 1,309,187 voters or 57 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

New Yorkers also gave the thumbs up to the four other amendments that followed it on the ballot.

The second proposal, which took in 84 percent of votes in approval, was the proposed change that would allow disabled veterans to received additional civil service credit. Proposal number three, receiving 62 percent of yes votes, would allow the exclusion of indebtedness contracted for the construction or reconstruction of sewage facilities. Proposal number four, gaining 72 percent of votes, introduces a settlement in a dispute between the state and private entities over who owns certain land within the Adirondacks. The final proposal, getting 53 percent of yes votes, also dealt with the Adirondacks, allowing the state to transfer the title of an amount of land of Adirondack Park to a private mining company, which would then transfer the same amount of land to the forest preserve.

Of the six proposals, the only one to be voted no was the amendment looking to increase the maximum age to which certain state judges may serve. According to unofficial results, 1,258, 283 voters, or 61 percent, were against the change.

Poll says casino gaming is a ‘smart bet’


| smosco@queenscourier.com

New Yorkers say “Hit me!”

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, residents want the state to amend its constitution and deal table games at New York Casinos similar to ones in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

The poll states that 56 percent of city and state residents would approve casinos. A more recent Siena College poll found that 57 percent of New Yorkers surveyed would allow non-Indian-run casinos to be built around the state, compared with 36 percent opposed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and most recently, Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have all indicated their support as well, along with State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr, who is a member of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming & Wagering Committee.

“Rather than see the money keep going to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos upstate, in this stagnant economy I believe we must start the process, including public input, for the expansion of Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) racinos into full casino gaming to increase our revenues and to boost education initiatives,” said Addabbo. “The smart bets are that voters would want to amend the NYS Constitution and ‘let the games begin’ – making it a win-win situation for the economy of our state and for our people.”

The senator is said to be working closely with operators at Resorts World Casino New York City, the developers at the Aqueduct Racino in South Ozone Park, to ensure a healthy partnership benefiting the surrounding community.

James Featherstonhaugh, chairman of the New York Gaming Association, of which Resorts World is a member, said that allowing casino gambling in the state would inject a much needed jolt to local economy and jobs.

“We continue to believe that when New Yorkers know all the facts – the immediate ability to create thousands of jobs and the spin-off effect of expanded tourism – this support will only grow,” said Featherstonhaugh. “In this regard, our association will be reaching out to elected officials and the public in the coming weeks and months in an effort to educate people on the fact that New York is losing $5 billion annually to surrounding states that already have gaming. By enhancing gaming in New York, we can stop this drain, create jobs, stimulate our economy and generate more revenues for education.”