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Cuomo's proposed budget would give Madison County more casino money

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An allocation in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget could resolve a dispute over casino revenues in the Mohawk Valley. 

Cuomo's budget would give Madison County $2.25 million a year because it's home to the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. That money would come from the state's share of a deal that was struck in 2013 between New York, Madison and Onedia counties and the Oneida Indian Nation on how to divvy up casino revenues. Madison County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Becker says it's OK to alter that arrangement since the Yellow Brick opened after the deal was finalized.

"He recognizes the fact that in 2013 there was no mention or contemplation of gaming in Madison County on the state’s part of anybody else’s part and this is a matter of fairness now that there is a casino in Madison County," Becker said. 

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente has staunchly opposed any changes to the deal, including this latest budget proposal - calling it a breach of that agreement. Picente has even threatened legal action in the past. But Becker is optimistic about its chances since a state bill that would have given Madison County more casino money last year was approved by the legislature with overwhelming support. It was only unsuccessful because Cuomo vetoed the bill, preferring to resolve the issue through the budget instead.

Madison County already receives $3.5 million annually under the 2013 agreement. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.