Legislation that would provide assistance to Vernon Downs has been passed by the Senate and Assembly.

Senator Joseph Griffo co-sponsored the bill in the Senate, which was introduced by Senator. Joseph Addabbo, while Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon sponsored the legislation in the Assembly.

The bill would allow Vernon Downs to use a percentage of the facility's revenue currently earmarked for capital awards, as well as revenue retained by the New York State Gaming Commission for administration, for operating purposes.

Griffo helped to craft the proposal in 2017.

“I am pleased that this bill has passed the Senate and that we can provide additional assistance and support to Vernon Downs, which is critically important to the Mohawk Valley,” Griffo said. “This legislation will help maintain jobs at the facility, further protect the harness racing and breeding industry in in Central New York and preserve the amount of education aid that the facility contributes.”

“Vernon Downs is an important component of our community that not only provides jobs to Mohawk Valley residents, but contributes to the lively hood of harness racing,” Buttenschon said. “It’s critical that we continue to ensure Vernon Downs has the ability to use additional gaming revenue to cover operating costs, especially in the wake of increased competition. This legislation is victory for our local economy and for the hundreds of employees at this facility.”

The legislation would go into effect immediately if signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

To view a recorded statement from Senator Griffo, and Assembly members Buttenschon and Salka, please visit the following link.

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