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Queens Chronicle

Casinos not the only initiative on ballot

Six proposed amendments face voters

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 12:52 pm, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

The question of whether to legalize full gaming in New York State is not the only proposed change to the state Constitution voters will be deciding on in November.

A total of six referendums, including the gambling initiative, will be put before voters this year.

New York voters will decide on the retirement age for state judges, extending the right for municipalities to exempt sewage facility costs from debt limits, allowing veterans to claim their miltary service as credit for civil service jobs, and two amendments dealing with land swaps in the Adirondacks.

The proposed amendment on the retirement age of state judges would raise the forced retirement age to 80 from the current age of 70. Some trial judges are eligible to serve until 76.

Only one member of the state Senate voted against the referendum — Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who opposed the bill on the grounds that it would lead to less turnover in the judicial branch.

Another referendum, if approved by voters, would allow veterans who have been disabled in combat to receive more points when competing for civil service jobs.

A third referendum will extend an exemption local governments have to allow them to exceed their debt limits as long as the cost is for sewage improvements. The exemption began in 1963 and was last extended by referendum in 2003.

The final two ballot initiatives will deal with land use issues in the Adirondacks.

In one case, voters will decide whether or not to approve a land swap with NYCO Minerals in order to develop an untapped deposit of wollastonite now located within Adirondack State Park. The mineral is used in products such as ceramics and automotive brakes. The second land swap proposal would allow several homeowners of the town of Long Lake in Hamilton County to swap land to settle a century-old dispute with the state.

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