AP Photo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Oneida Indian Nation Ray Halbritter talk while signing an agreement May 16 that gives the nation exclusive casino rights in Central New York. Standing in back are John Becker, chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors, left, and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.

Oneida Nation and New York Agreement Approved by Counties

May 30, 2013


The historic agreement that was announced on May 16 between the Oneida Indian Nation and the state of New York moved two steps closer to reality this week following the approvals by Oneida and Madison counties.

On May 28, the Oneida County Board of Legislators voted 16 to 13 to approve the agreement according to The Post Standard.

Today the Madison County Board of Supervisors voted 847 to 653 in approving the agreement according to Syracuse.com.

Following the Madison County voting results, Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises, parent company of Indian Country Today Media Network, said, “The Oneida Nation congratulates Oneida and Madison County for approving this historic agreement. We look forward to working together with the counties and the state as we begin a new chapter of shared prosperity for our entire community.”

The deal that took less than a month to come together following decades of animosity, intense negotiations and contentious lawsuits, now moves to the state legislature that will vote more than likely before session ends June 20.

The agreement if approved will resolve disputes between the two sovereign nations over land rights, tax issues, gaming exclusivity and profits. (Related story: The Oneida Nation and New York Sign a Historic Agreement)

Both counties heard public speakers in favor and opposed to the agreement before casting the final votes.

Oneida County Legislator, Dave Wood, of Rome, following Tuesday’s vote said, “I think it’s the best deal we could cut. It’s the best deal I’ve seen as a legislator in 33 years.”

Following today’s vote Cuomo issued a statement, “This compact will end the decades of litigation and vitriol that have defined the relations between the Oneidas, their neighbors and the state, and create a path to future prosperity and cooperation for all.”


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