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Push is on for more VLT money

By Lombardo David
Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Western New York Republican state senator is pushing to restore video lottery terminal funding back to 2008 levels for municipalities that host the electronic games.

This money began to flow again in 2011 to municipalities that host VLTs, after being either drastically cut or eliminated in 2009 and 2010, but most localities are only getting about half as much money as they previously received. For Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County, the funding was eliminated in 2009 and 2010 and was restored to 45 percent of what it was in 2008 for last year's budget, with the city getting $1.5 million and half a million dollars going to the county. These levels were maintained in this year's budget.

According to Sen. Mark Grisanti, who wants to return to 2008 levels and is sponsoring this legislation, the city of Yonkers didn't endure similar cuts, as their funding only dropped by 2 percent. The other host municipalities of VLTs did not get off as easily, and he wants to rectify that inequity. This would include helping the city of Buffalo, which hosts VLTs and includes portions of his senate district.

"Enactment of this legislation will bring equity to these municipalities and restore badly needed funding," reads his bill memo's justification.

It would cost the state about $7.6 million to enact this bill and increase funding. The Senate bill number is 7479, and there is not yet any companion legislation in the Assembly.

Read the full text of the bill memo below:

VLT Restoration Legislation

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