On Thursday, Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-I- Lewiston, called the naming of former Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye as the third arbiter in the dispute between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the state of New York "significant progress." The arbitration process will be settled by three arbiters, one named by the Senecas, one named by the state of New York, and the third, Kaye, agreed upon by both arbiters.
"With the naming of a third arbiter, we can finally see progress in this process," Ceretto said. "To have the Seneca Nation and state of New York agree on something as significant as the tie-breaking vote tells me a decision is within sight. This is major progress and I am hopeful that the residents and business owners of Niagara Falls will have a resolution this calendar year."
Ceretto has worked diligently on this casino matter, meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration and the Seneca Nation's President Robert Porter to encourage a resolution. The assemblyman has also introduced Assembly Bill 8575 to increase the local share of casino revenue from 25 percent to 50 percent and Assembly Bill 9284 to authorize direct payments from the Seneca Nation to host municipalities.
"With the three arbiters now named, the process can move forward," Ceretto said. "While the process must run its course, this is significant progress and I am hopeful for a timely resolution."