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Casino Question Tops List of Ballot Referendums

(WBEN) - At first glance, New Yorkers seem to be split on whether or not they support expanding Casino gaming in the state.

In an October 21st Siena College Poll, 49% of voters supported the idea of Las Vegas style casinos being built in New York, and 45% opposed. But Siena Polls' Steve Greenburg says that doesn't tell the whole story.

Here's how the casino proposal appears on Tuesday's Ballot

Proposal Number One, An Amendment
Authorizing Casino Gaming:

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?

"There's no question about it that the language on the ballot clearly has an effect on how voters react to the issue of a casino gambling amendment," Greenburg says.

The language on Tuesday's ballot has been a hot topic for months. Opponents of casinos say the wording of the referendum, which promises increased aid for schools, new jobs, and lower taxes if approved, is biased in favor of approval.

Siena Polls shows that the wording has an impact on voters. Of voters polled, 56% support the amendment when shown the wording, as opposed to just 40% who do not.

Greenburg says that some voters do not support expanding casino gaming when presented with a generic question, but changed their mind when presented with the wording that will be on the ballot.

While the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) has no position on whether there should be casino gambling in New York, the group is not happy with how the question was worded.

"In terms of a process, we think this is rigged like they're rolling loaded dice," says Blair Horner of NYPIRG,  referring to the summary of the referendum question on whether non-Indian casinos should be allowed in New York.  (left)

The wording adds the state would use its share of revenues to improve school aid and promote job growth. Horner is concerned voters in a rush won't catch the Cuomo spin.

"There's nothing in the constitution says any of those good things have to be done. Anytime you pass a law, that law can be changed down the road."

Horner says the explanation should have ended after saying the constitution would be changed to allow non-Indian casinos in the state.

SEE: A TV ad supporting Proposition One:

  Exclusive WBEN Audio
From Hardline, The WBEN Politics Program
Hear Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward

Here are the other propositions
on the ballot Tuesday

To read the abstract and explanation of  each CLICK HERE

Proposal Number Two, An Amendment
Additional Civil Service Credit for Veterans with Disabilities Certified Post-Appointment

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 Number Three, An Amendment
Exclusion of Indebtedness Contracted for Sewage Facilities

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 Number Four, An Amendment
Settling Disputed Title in the Forest Preserve

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 Number Five, An Amendment
In Relation to a Land Exchange in the State Forest Preserve with NYCO Minerals, Inc.

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 Number Six, An Amendment
Increasing Age until which Certain State Judges Can Serve

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?

Local Proposition
Town of Concord
(Excluding the Village of Springville)

Shall the Defined Benefit program established by the Length of Service Award Program as Approved
by the voters of the Town of Concord, County of Erie, State of New York, be amended to provide that
effective January 1, 2014, amend the existing plan to increase the maximum number of years earned
from 20 to 30 years in the Length of Service Award Program, at no additional cost, BE APPROVED

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