Lawmaker's measure allows Seneca Nation to pay local share directly
Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, announced Wednesday that he is sponsoring Assembly bill 9284 (A.9284/ S.00866B-Giglio/Young), legislation which would authorize municipal governments hosting tribal casinos to receive payments directly from these Native American groups, which would break a long-held impasse between the Seneca Nation and New York state.
Under the current law, casinos make payments to New York, which then distributes this funding to local municipalities and school districts. In the last three years, however, New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians have been engaged in a dispute over the terms of their gaming compact, which has deprived Niagara Falls of roughly $60 million in revenue over the three-year span.
"My bill will ensure that the City of Niagara Falls and other municipalities receive important funding needed to make improvements to local infrastructure, invest in police and other emergency personnel, and make important enhancements necessary to attract tourist dollars. Niagara Falls taxpayers should not be put on the hook because of a state dispute," Ceretto said.
He is sponsoring A.9284 after meeting with an ad hoc committee set up by the Niagara Falls City Council. Ceretto pledged to work in close partnership with the committee, and his office is slated to participate in an April 25 meeting with Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter.
"I will continue to work with the City of Niagara Falls, the state of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians to find a solution that will be of mutual benefit to all the stakeholders involved," Ceretto said. "We must work together. A resolution that restores this important funding while laying a roadmap for future prosperity can help Niagara Falls, the state and the people of the Seneca Nation."