State Assembly stalls vote on casino in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — State Assembly members from the area are pushing back against a proposed plan to build a casino here in Rochester — all in an effort to make sure the people of Monroe County have a seat at the table.

“We want to protect the interests of the families that we represent here in the Monroe County area and so we want to make sure that whatever compact is entered into we are taking care of the interest of our families,” says Assemblymen Harry Bronson.

That’s what Bronson said is his focus heading into next week’s session.

“I don’t see this issue coming up next week. I can’t guarantee that but I don’t think we are going to get a resolution prior to that time,” Bronson said.

Hitting the pause button on approving a new 20 year compact between Seneca Nation and New York State after learning the Governor’s office and the Senecas had been negotiating a plan to build a casino in Rochester.

“I reached out to a contact in the Governor’s office, and I was told that particular individual was subject to a nondisclosure agreement. So that person could not discuss with me the details, but would go back and see what information they could share,” Bronson said.

Bronson said he was able to reach out to the Governor’s office but he would not disclose who was part of the meeting — outside of members of the Empire State Development Corporation.

Others, like 134th District Representative Josh Jensen, said he hasn’t been able to speak to anyone at all and hasn’t been invited to any meeting.

“All I know is what I’ve seen on social media, and so it would be my hope that in having an open and transparent conversation with a coequal branch of government from the executive branch to the legislative branch that the people who represent this community would all be working with the same information,” Jensen said.

Leaving even more questions than answers as the state rolls the dice on bringing a casino to Rochester.