CARS HOMES JOBS
 

Senior and junior senators team up for Saratoga

By Lombardo David
Friday, January 11, 2013

The state Senate's most junior and senior members are part of a team to restore more than $2 million to the community hosting the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

As part of the initial agreement to put electronic slot machines, known as Video Lottery Terminals, in Saratoga Springs, the state agreed to pay the city and county a fee to cover costs associated with hosting this operation. In 2008 the payment to Saratoga Springs was was more than $3 million, but those payments to the city and county stopped the next year because of a budget crunch.

The payments were withheld the next year too.

Funding was partially restored in the state's budget in 2011, with the city receiving about $1.5 million and the county getting $499,000, which was about 45 percent of what they were owed. This level of funding was also in last year's state budget.

State Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, and Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, have signed on to legislation that would fully restore the hosting payments to the city and county. The bill, which is being carried by a majority member in the Assembly, would be in full effect when the new fiscal year start in April.

It would cost the state about $7.6 million to restore full funding to Saratoga and the other communities that host racinos, which offer VLTs.

Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, who was defeated in a Republican Primary this past fall by Marchione, previously worked with Farley to help get the payments partially restored.

The bill for full restoration is Senate Bill 2120 and the companion piece in the Assembly, is Assembly Bill 347.
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