Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced an agreement Thursday between New York state and the Seneca Nation of Indians that resolves a multi-year dispute between the state and the nation.
The agreement, which reconfirms the exclusivity of Seneca casino operations in the Western New York region, also saw the Seneca Nation agreeing to resume payments and make pro-rated repayments for past amounts that were in dispute.
Several area lawmakers were in attendance for the announcement, including state Sen. Cathy Young, R-C-I Olean, and state Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-C-I Gowanda. In a statement released by Young and Giglio, they said that they are "ecstatic with the news that the state and the nation have reached a positive resolution," saying that this result solves local concerns, making the city of Salamanca, the school district and Cattaraugus County whole again.
"The nation and its businesses are economic drivers for our region because they employ so many people and draw so many tourists," they said. "Gov. Cuomo and the Seneca Nation, especially President Barry Snyder and the Tribal Council, are to be commended for their willingness to come together in the spirit of cooperation. By working together, we will make great strides towards economic growth and a brighter future."
Earlier on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy applauded Cuomo and Snyder for engaging in this discussion due to the large impact that it could have on both the Western New York region, as well as the state as a whole.
"The greatest thing is, you have two leaders," said Duffy. "You have the leader of New York state, and you have the leader of the Sovereign Nation, the Seneca Nation, meeting face-to-face. That is the good news right there. I think the impact is very promising. It really shows great leadership from Gov. Cuomo and President Snyder, that they've taken time to meet, and I think half the opportunity and half the challenge is having the opportunity to sit down face-to-face and really have these negotiations."
For more information about Thursdays' announcement, visit www.governor.ny.gov. A full press release from Gov. Cuomo's office is available to the public.