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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Notes - June 18

- Seems as if Senator Bruno hasn't completely dropped the idea of a racino at Belmont. Speaking of his support for the concept of phasing out the state's property taxes, Bruno said in a press release:

The Governor and Assembly should join the Senate and make it a priority to invest $12 billion over five years so we can eliminate local property taxes. We have revenues from casinos, and VLTs and we need to get VLTs running at Belmont and Aqueduct, and we need to collect sales taxes at Indian reservations. [Capitol Confidential]
Governor Paterson, and some 74% of New Yorkers, favor a 4% cap on property tax increases. But neither the Senate nor the Assembly want to take the matter up with legislators of both parties quaking in their boots from strong opposition by the powerful New York State United Teachers union with the election just a few months away. Lawmakers generally covet endorsements from teachers unions, which last year spent $2.6 million on lobbying, according to data from the New York Public Interest Research Group. [NYDN]

In April, the union successfully opposed the idea of tying tenure for individual teachers to their students' test scores. Now, they want the state's already exorbitant property taxes to continue their unabated ascent, supposedly for their students' sakes. But excuse me for thinking that they're mainly concerned with their own salary bottom lines. Pretty nice deal here - no accountability for performance and the hell with beleaguered property owners. The union arrogantly proclaimed the cap as 'DOA' last week, and the Governor, armed with the public's support, is pissed off and taking the offensive, even threatening to call a special session.

But, as usual, I digress.... Bruno's no-tax plan was passed by the Senate, but is a non-starter, opposed by Governor Paterson due to the fact there are no definitive substitute revenue sources identified; only that old stand-by, gambling revenues, and the currently dead-in-the-water, courtesy of Speaker Sheldon Silver, Belmont racino. However, as the state continues to be squeezed for revenue, I imagine that the idea of VLT's in Elmont will come up again and eventually become a reality...if the slots bubble doesn't burst first.

- Blood tests revealed no illegal medications amongst the Belmont starters. But the findings regarding steroids were less definitive.
"There was nothing illegal in any of the horses and some of them did not have any anabolic steroids present....I do not know which horses those were because we receive numbered samples and no one would know which sample went with which horse unless there was something illegal found. [Baltimore Sun]
Since steroids are legal in NY, it makes sense that the steroid users did not have to be identified. But I'm still a little curious as to whether Da'Tara was on them, and much more so as to why virtually no one in the media seems to want to know. All that fuss they raised about the evil Dutrow's use of winstrol, but Mr. Good-Guy-He's-So-Classy Zito refuses to comment and gets a total pass? C'mon, is that a double standard or what?


Anonymous said...

Agree it would be nice to know if Da' Tara was on steroids, also would like to know what "some" means -- one, two, three? Even if we can't get names, it would interesting to know how many out of the 10 runners tested positive.

Anonymous said...

Agree,why hasn't anyone in the media ask the question?

New York State United Teachers union support Democrats 99% of the time.