Gov. Andrew Cuomo would not support Senate Democrats’ legislation that would give added home-rule protections to communities under consideration for upstate casinos.
Sens. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, and Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, Schenectady County, today introduced legislation that would require a local law in support for the siting of a casino in a specific municipality. They also wanted the law to require the casinos to meet all state environmental rules and local zoning regulations.
“This plan will never work if Albany bureaucrats are forcing casinos down the throats of communities that don’t want them or can’t accommodate them,” Krueger said in a statement.
In response, Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa said the bill is not necessary because the state Gaming Commission will consider local support or opposition as part of its review.
“A process for selecting and siting casinos — which already does include local community support as a required factor — has been voted upon by the Legislature, subject to intense public debate and ultimately approved by a majority of New Yorkers. We will reject any attempts to politicize the selection process with unnecessary legislation,” she said in a statement.
The state Legislature approved plans last year to put four casinos upstate: in the Catskills, Albany area and Southern Tier. Voters last November approved a constitutional amendment to legalize private casinos in New York.
Cuomo said in his State of the State address he hoped to have the siting done this fall.