Remember to flip your ballots and vote on statewide propositions
Tue, 05 Nov 2013 17:21:35 GMT —
Voters are holding the cards in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's quest to seek authorization for seven Las Vegas-style casinos around the state.
Tuesday's casino referendum asks voters to amend the state constitution to allow the casinos to boost the economy and swell tax revenues.
One would be in the Southern Tier near Binghamton, two in the Catskills and Mid-Hudson Valley region, and another in the Saratoga Springs-Albany area. A New York City casino would be built in seven years, although some casino operators say the law could allow for a city casino sooner.
The latest Siena College-New York Times poll released a week ago found 60 percent of New York City voters support the question. However, that poll showed they were still split over allowing a New York City casino.
New York voters will determine the fate of 216 private and public landowners in the Hamilton County hamlet of Raquette Lake.
The landowners have been vexed with disputed property titles since the 1800s, when a series of clerical errors left it unclear if the state or the landowners had title.
Under Proposition 4, the state will release its claim to the parcels in return for undeveloped land elsewhere. The landowners will pay fees to cover the new acquisition.
The parcels include private homes, businesses, a school, firehouse, waste transfer station and marina.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has recommended that the state Legislature target the historic Marion River Carry for acquisition. It's part of a canoe route that connects Raquette Lake and Blue Mountain Lake in the central Adirondacks.
An Adirondack mineral company will be able to expand its pit mine onto 200 acres of state-owned land in exchange for 1,500 acres elsewhere if voters approve Proposition 5.
NYCO Minerals Inc. says it will restore the 200 acres and return it to the state in about 10 years, after it blasts out the wollastonite, a mineral used in ceramics, plastics and paints. The company will also give the state 1,500 acres including mountain peaks and trout streams.
The proposal has strong support locally, where the company employs about 100 people, but it has split environmental groups.
The Sierra Club and Protect The Adirondacks say it would set a bad precedent. But the Adirondack Council says the 1,500 acres are worth far more ecologically and recreationally than the 200 acres.
Judges could remain on the state's highest court and principal trial courts until 80 years old under a referendum to raise the age limit a decade.
That would postpone mandatory retirement for four of the seven judges on the Court of Appeals, who are appointed to 14-year terms.
State Supreme Court justices, who are elected to 14-year-terms, can now get three two-year extensions beyond 70, provided they get a certificate that they're capable and needed by New York's overcrowded courts.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman says the lower limit is out of date considering modern life spans, depriving the courts of expertise.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he hasn't taken a position on the referendum. If passed and Cuomo wins a second term, it would limit his appointments to the top court.