NewYork to Fight Deficit with Gambling?

Governor presents new plans

An announcement came this week from the state of New York, whose governor Andrew Cuomo revealed plans for fighting the state’s $350 million deficit in the current fiscal year, which include overhauling the tax system, using public-private partnerships to repair the state’s infrastructure, and legalization of gambling as part of a wide-reaching jobs creation plan.

For his plan, the governor is apparently looking for bi-partisan support, which should result in prevention of the deficit that in fiscal 2012 (starting on April 1) could reach $3.5 billion. Hence, a number of Special Republican and Democrat meetings will be organized in order to discuss the planned measures and reach a compromise solution.

According to Cuomo, “I will be reaching out to Democratic and Republican officials in a spirit of cooperation and compromise so that together we can enact a real economic program that creates jobs.”

In light of the “collapsing” revenues, as taxes collected on Wall Street wages and bonuses decline, Cuomo has already taken certain measures, such as cutting spending and winning concessions from labor unions, and he is now seeking a stimulus package that would increase spending on road and bridge construction; finance new programs to train poor urban youths; and legalize resort-style casino gambling to raise tax revenues.

He added: “Our goal in New York should be twofold: to fashion a job-creating economic plan, and to defy political gridlock like we see in Washington and make government work to actually implement the plan.”

However, some of the changes may be time-consuming, including the legalization of full-scale commercial casinos that would require amending the state’s Constitution, which could be done only with an approval from two consecutive Legislatures and then a voter referendum.

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