ALBANY – Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is in Albany this week to participate in a series of meetings and seminars with fellow county-level officials throughout New York State.
During an interview with WNYNewsNow Monday morning, Borrello said that the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) will convene from Monday until Wednesday to go over several pending pieces of legislation and/or recently passed laws.
“We’ll be discussing a number of issues here,” Borrello said. Borrello explained how he sits on a standing committee for Native American affairs, and he said that he hopes to talk about payments that the Native Americans are supposed to make to local governments from gambling revenues.
In addition, Borrello said that NYSAC will discuss other mandates that are being discussed and/or passed in Albany.
“There will also be a lot of discussions on things like state mandates, but also the (potential) legalization of marijuana and other laws that passed recently and how those are going to be funded,” Borrello said. “I’m sure it’ll be a jam-packed agenda. There’s many seminars to attend, and a lot of discussions on the quick changes that are occurring in the state legislature.”
“We’ll be here to stick together as a group, essentially, and be able to work as a group to try and find solutions to help us manage all of these rapid changes that are happening in Albany.”
Borrello discussed the potential legalization of recreational marijuana statewide. The county’s top official said he’ll be asking for “common sense” to be applied when drafting the legislation.
“I’m going to be asking for some common sense to be applied to what seems to be the inevitable legalization of (recreational) marijuana,” Borrello said. “There are a lot of pitfalls there, and there have been a lot of mistakes that have been made by the 10 states that have gone before us to legalize (recreational) marijuana.”
“I want to ensure that some common sense controls are in place. That’s going to be a primary focus, for me, at this conference in insuring that NYSAC is advocating strongly to ensure that local governments are given as much control as possible, and that state government is going to provide the proper resources so that we can manage what will be an inevitable increase in criminal activity and people driving under the influence of marijuana.”
Borrello said that the cost involved would outweigh any potential revenue for the county.
“The revenue that people are expecting is going to be minimal compared to the cost involved. To me, that’s an important thing myself and my fellow members of NYSAC will advocate for.”
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