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Lawmakers move to give Governor Hochul power to sign new gaming compact with Seneca Nation

While the state Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure to let Gov. Hochul move forward with a new gaming compact, the Assembly still has to debate and vote on it.

ALBANY, N.Y. — State lawmakers have moved a little closer to grant governor Hochul to sign a new gaming compact with the Seneca Nation. 

The Senate voted Friday night, 62-1, on Senator Tim Kennedy's bill that would move the gaming compact negotiations forward. 

"This bill enshrines strong labor protections for unions to organize it nation owned facilities, and ensures the nation will maintain an adequate civil recovery system that guarantees fundamental due process to visitors and guests, as well as maintains sufficient liability insurance," Kennedy said on the Senate Floor. 

Aside from giving the governor the authority to enter into a new agreement with the Seneca Nation, there are also labor union protections and assurances for guests and liability insurance on behalf of the Seneca Nation. 

"We stand here today, because there's another opportunity for New York State to make good on our commitment to our native neighbors," Kennedy said. 

Republican Senator George Borrello also has a bill, currently in committee, being considered would give the state Comptroller oversight of the compact agreement prior to it being send to the Department of Interior for approval. 

"The governor has some inherent conflicts of interest, which is why I wanted to see the comptroller oversee this process and approve it so that there would be aboveboard integrity in this whole process," Borrello said. "Absent that, we're going to have to rely on good faith."

Assembly lawmakers have not debated on their version of Kennedy's bill that would give the governor authorization. It's likely that the legislative body will continue their session into the weekend to vote on the compact authorization.

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