Legislative Alert – May 13th, 2013

President’s Message
Casino Development Will Result in Good Jobs


The constitutional amendment to allow casino gaming in New York State and the corresponding legislation to implement the plan has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs.  The NYS AFL-CIO is proud to be working with the Governor and both houses of the legislature to make this potential economic boon for the state a reality.

The Governor and Legislature already agreed to important labor peace language in this year’s budget. This will ensure continuity of service and more importantly, ensure that permanent gaming and hospitality jobs that are created are good paying jobs with benefits and union representation. The enabling legislation under consideration now should further ensure that construction projects related to casino development also has labor protections and results in good paying jobs with union benefits and representation.

Together, these provisions will help build up the communities around the casinos, create permanent, good jobs and create a steady revenue stream for both the state and host local governments.

Further considerations about the impact on race tracks and other gaming operations such as VLT parlors and gaming on Native American lands also must be taken into account, as these facilities currently have thousands of good paying jobs as well.

As everyone knows, the voters of New York will ultimately decide this issue, which makes it even more important that significant job creation and real long-term economic development are the foremost concern.

Mario Cilento, President



Call To Action
Monday, May 20, 2013, 1:00 p.m.
100 South Swan Street, Albany
Senator Michael Gianaris will address the Lobbyists
Issue of the Week
A. 2680-A Brindisi/S. 4006-A GriffoThis legislation would enhance criminal penalties for assaults committed against employees of the Office of Children and Family Services (“OCFS”) while working at secure and limited secure residential facilities.  Specifically, these assaults would be classified as class D felonies.OCFS employees assigned to secure and limited secure facilities work every day to help troubled youth turn their lives around.  Unfortunately, every day, they also face the danger of being attacked by the same youth they work to help.  This danger is real and the risk of injury is serious.  Recently over half of the youth division aides at one limited secure facility were out of work due to injuries sustained in attacks by residents.  By no means is this an isolated example – according to the New York State Commission of Correction, incidence of violent assaults on workers in the state’s four secure facilities has increased by nearly 450% between 2007 and 2012.

Staff at these facilities cannot focus on working while in constant fear for their safety.  Increasing the penalty for assaulting OCFS employees will deter further assaults.  This approach has been used successfully in the past.  This legislation would provide the same level of protection already enjoyed by police officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency room staff, certain transit workers and others.

For further information contact Mike Neidl at 518-436-8516 or by email information@nysaflcio.org