Despite a last-minute snag, the state Senate passed a bill this afternoon granting a new franchise to the New York Racing Association.p>
NYRA billTo view the entire text of the bill extending NYRA's racing franchise, click here.
The bill passed the Assembly earlier in the afternoon, but a scheduled Senate vote was delayed, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, twice postponed scheduled news conferences. Gov. Eliot Spitzer also twice postponed conference calls with reporters about the NYRA bill.
Bruno, who only has a three-vote Republican majority, had difficulty rounding up Republican votes from Long Island. Several key Republicans voted against the bill, but many Democrats backed it, and the bill oassed by a vote of 39-17.
The bill does not include authorization for video lottery terminals at the Belmont Park race track in Nassau County. Bruno had supported VLTs there, as did Long Island politicians from both parties and Gov. Eliot Spitzer, but they were kept out of the bill by Assembly Democrats.