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Lawmakers, Cuomo not talking casinos in budget negotiations

By Tom Precious

Albany – State legislative leaders said tonight the debate
over casino expansion in New York does not have to be a part of the budget
discussions that officials hope to wrap up a week before the start of the March
31 fiscal year.

“It’s not part of the budget right now,’’ Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said
coming out of a closed-door meeting with other legislative leaders and Gov.
Andrew Cuomo.

“That’s another issue. We don’t need to have that whole gaming issue. It’s not
time-sensitive, right now, in my opinion … The budget is time sensitive,’’
added Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican.

Cuomo proposed casino “enabling’’ legislation as part of his 2013 budget plan
to accompany a separate resolution lawmakers are poised to consider again this
session to permit up to seven new casinos on non-Indian lands. But Cuomo
himself last week suggested the proposal can be taken out of the budget and
dealt with later in the session – as most lawmakers always assumed would happen
anyway.

With Christian and Jewish religious holidays falling in the last week of March,
officials have set March 21 as the last day of session before the start of the
fiscal year on April 1. To achieve that, it has appeared likely for weeks that
some controversial, non-budget issues contained in Cuomo’s plan – like the casino bill and a
plan to raise the minimum wage – would be punted until later in the session as
a way to get an on-time budget for the third year in a row.

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Albany | Andrew Cuomo
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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