By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The resolution proclaims that “a modernized gaming industry will compete with other states and provide a hefty infusion of money for programs and property tax relief for senior citizens and disabled residents of the County of Hudson and [the] State of New Jersey.”
Furthermore, “the bill will make New Jersey’s gaming industry relevant and viable and help to replenish hundreds and millions in annual gross gaming revenues that have been lost to neighboring states in recent years while [sic] and helping our senior and disabled residents.”
Through the resolution, the board is urging the state Assembly to adopt Prieto’s bill in it’s entirety. The vote passed unanimously, 8-0, with Bayonne Freeholder Kenny Kopacz (D-1) absent.
Also worth mentioning is that one of the Democrats that co-sponsored Prieto’s bill is Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), the sister of Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders Vice Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8).
Prieto outlined his bill last week when speaking with Hudson County View, calling for 35 percent of the North Jersey casino revenues to go towards Atlantic City casinos and allowing an Atlantic City casino operator to get one of the two proposed North Jersey casino licenses – among other things.
Senate Pres. Steve Sweeney (D-3) has introduced an opposing bill, which asks for 50 percent of the North Jersey casino revenues to be allocated to Atlantic City casinos and for Atlantic City casino operators get both of the proposed North Jersey casino licenses.
In a statement issued on Friday, Prieto blasted Sweeney for “preening at press conferences” instead of trying to make compromises on this important issue.
â€œI have compromised significantly to get this done while the Senate president engages in overheated rhetoric and blame. Check the bills and see who has compromised the most. The facts speak for themselves,” Prieto said.
â€œI challenge the Senate president to spend less time preening at press conferences and more time truly working together on what is so obviously needed at this point – a compromise that will pass both houses with enough votes during the next session.â€
Prieto has also said that Sweeney’s bill doesn’t have the votes to make it through the Assembly and Sweeney has made an identical claim (h/t PolitickerNJ).
The state legislature is expected to vote on the pivotal issue during tomorrow’s session.
A copy of the freeholders’ resolution can be read here.