Senate budget fully restores VLT aid to Saratoga
The state Senate's amended budget would mean a few extra million in video lottery terminal support revenue for the Saratoga Springs area.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget, and the amended version by the Assembly, would provide Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County with about half the money they're due for hosting the Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Senate is proposing a full reimbursement, which hasn't been granted since the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
The Senate's budget proposed to increase VLT support payments by $7.6 million, which would bring the payment to Saratoga Springs up to more than $3 million annually. Currently, only Yonkers is fully reimbursed for hosting a racino.
The possibility of full restoration could come up during budget negotiations between the Senate and Assembly.
Senators Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, and Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, are co-sponsors of legislation to fully restore payments to host communities of racinos.
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.
Follow @poozer87 on Twitter for more budget updates.