News from the Associated Press - May 13, 2014

Associated Press
May 13, 2014

NY sets $350M minimum for Orange County casino

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York gambling regulators say developers proposing casinos in Orange or Dutchess counties must commit to investing more than $350 million in the project.

The state's Gaming Facility Location Board on Monday approved the required minimum investment for each region now authorized to host a casino.

The minimum investment doesn't include costs for land acquisition, financing and licensing fees. The board estimates the total investment for an Orange County will exceed $472 million.

Developers are now finalizing proposals to build one of four casinos authorized for upstate. The minimum investment thresholds vary by region and are intended to maximize the casinos' economic impact.

The highest minimums are in Orange and Dutchess counties, which have attracted the most interest from developers because they're close to New York City.

 

NY law establishes contracting goal for veterans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation establishing 6 percent goal for state contracting with companies owned by service-disabled veterans.

The bill passed in March by the Senate and Assembly creates a state procurement unit to develop and coordinate a statewide plan promoting contracting by state agencies with certified companies.

It calls for compiling a public directory of those businesses and reporting annually on progress meeting the 6 percent goal.

The governor's office says New York is home to about 900,000 veterans and three major active duty military installations at Fort Drum, Fort Hamilton and West Point.

State Sen. Greg Ball, a veteran and Hudson Valley Republican who sponsored the bill, says it should do more to reverse high veterans' unemployment than anything else New York officials do.

 

NY pension fund estimate reaches $176 billion

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's comptroller says the pension fund for state and local government workers has reached a record high of $176.2 billion with a 13 percent return on investment last year, riding a bull market for stocks.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, sole trustee of the Common Retirement Fund, says it also paid $9.7 billion to beneficiaries in the fiscal year that ended March 31.

Almost 38 percent of its holdings are in domestic stocks, which rose 22 percent.

The fund for some 650,000 government employees pays benefits to about 400,000 retirees and beneficiaries.

The average employer contribution rate is more than 20 percent of salary for most public workers and nearly 28 percent for police and firefighters.

After the strong earnings year, he says new contribution rates in August could be lower.

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