Casinos in the Catskills? It's on the ballot???

Brooklyn Currents | 11/03/2013 | 0 comments

Whether you're a political junkie who has scrupulously followed the mayoral and city council races, or have just paid glancing attention to it all, you know about DeBlazio, Lhota, and probably your local city council incumbents and challengers.

But if you didn't realize that there are also six statewide propositions on the ballot, don't kick yourself too hard – there has been scant publicity about them, even though Proposition 1, for example, is a yes or no vote on whether casino gambling should be legal in the Catskills – certainly not a minor issue.
Here are the six proposals that voters in Brooklyn and the rest of the state will see on Tuesday:

Proposal 1.

The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?

(The rather biased language  -- "promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools..." was inserted by Gov. Cuomo and other supporters. The proposition as originally proposed by the state Attorney General's office was:

"The purpose of the proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the constitution is to allow the Legislature to authorize and regulate up to seven casinos. If approved, the amendment would permit commercial casino gambling in New York state.")

Proposal 2.

The proposed amendment to section 6 of article 5 of the Constitution would entitle a veteran who has received civil service credit for a civil service appointment or promotion and subsequently is certified as disabled to additional civil service credit at a subsequent appointment or promotion. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Proposal 3.

The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 5 of the Constitution would extend for ten years, until January 1, 2024, the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits indebtedness contracted for the construction or reconstruction of sewage facilities. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Proposal 4.

The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to settle longstanding disputes between the State and private entities over ownership of certain parcels of land in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. In exchange for giving up its claim to disputed parcels, the State would get land to be incorporated into the forest preserve that would benefit the forest preserve more than the disputed parcels currently do. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

 Proposal 5.

The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to convey forest preserve land located in the town of Lewis, Essex County, to NYCO Minerals, a private company that plans on expanding an existing mine that adjoins the forest preserve land. In exchange, NYCO Minerals would give the State at least the same amount of land of at least the same value, with a minimum assessed value of $1 million, to be added to the forest preserve. When NYCO Minerals finishes mining, it would restore the condition of the land and return it to the forest preserve. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Proposal 6.

The proposed amendment to the Constitution, amending sections 2 and 25 of article 6, would increase the maximum age until which certain state judges may serve as follows: (a) a Justice of the Supreme Court would be eligible for five additional two-year terms after the present retirement age of 70, instead of the three such terms currently authorized; and (b) a Judge of the Court of Appeals who reaches the age of 70 while in office would be permitted to remain in service on the Court for up to 10 years beyond the present retirement age of 70 in order to complete the term to which that Judge was appointed. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

More information on each of these propositions, including arguments for and against each, is available at votesmart.org.


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