The Examiner

Expansion of Casino Gambling First of Six Propositions on Ballot

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Take a drive throughout the area and all you see are political signs from candidates running for office doting the right of ways.

But there’s one sign that is different than all the others. It doesn’t advertise for a candidate but is blue with a small 1 inside a circle encouraging voters to support Proposal 1.

That is the first of six state-wide propositions that will be on the ballot next Tuesday for voters to ponder and the one that should generate the most interest and perhaps controversy.

Proposal 1, if approved, would allow up to seven casinos to be built throughout the state with the hopes of stimulating job growth and bringing tourists, particularly in economically depressed areas of upstate New York.

The propositions, which have flown well under the radar of most voters, have been talked about so little in most circles that it prompted state Sen. George Latimer (D-Rye) to send out a two-page overview for his constituents.

Under the proposal, four casinos would be allowed north of Westchester during the first seven years following its passage, Latimer said. After that Westchester, Long Island and New York City would be able to apply for the remaining casinos along with the rest of the state. Currently, only Native American casinos can legally operate in New York. That does not include the gaming facilities inside race tracks.

“There are people who will argue both sides of the issues but since it would amend the state Constitution, this is a decision that is going to be made by the people,” Latimer said.

The other proposition that may be of some interest to the public is Proposal 6, which would allow for state judges to serve on the bench until 80 years old. Currently, once a state Supreme Court justice reaches the retirement age of 70, he or she may be eligible to serve up to three additional two-year terms depending on their fitness and the needs of the court. That would be increased to up to five two-year terms.

For Court of Appeals judges, they would be permitted to serve for up to 10 years beyond the current mandatory retirement age of 70.

The other propositions are far more arcane. Proposal 2 would permit disabled veterans to receive more than one instance of additional credits on civil service exams. Proposal 3 would extend for an additional 10 years until Jan. 1, 2024, the time that municipalities can exclude sewer debt from constitutional debt limits. Proposals 4 and 5 deal with Adirondack region land swaps.

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