Griffo: Senate passes legislation providing relief to Vernon Downs

New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-C-Rome, announced today that legislation that will provide relief to Vernon Downs Casino Hotel has been passed by the Senate. 

Current law mandated that Vernon Downs forfeit its additional vendor fee because it was not able to maintain at least 90% of full-time equivalent employees as they employed in 2016. Given the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility could not feasibly maintain those employment levels. 

The legislation (S4817) passed today by the Senate will waive this condition, which would allow the facility to continue to operate.  

Sen. Griffo advocated for and was a cosponsor of the bill, which was introduced by Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens and chair of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. 

A companion bill (A6144A) is before the Assembly. That bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon and chair of the Assembly's Committee on Racing and Wagering, and is supported by Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-C-New Hartford, and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-Marcy.

"In 2017, I sponsored and passed legislation to help Vernon Downs because I recognize, understand and appreciate the important role that the facility plays in the region,” Sen. Griffo said. “I am pleased that, thanks to the efforts of many partners and as a result of this bill, Vernon Downs will once again receive additional support and assistance to remain operational. This legislation will provide some relief to the employees, families, local governments and others who rely on Vernon Downs."