Gov. Kathy Hochul has a piece of legislation sitting on her desk that would allow casino operators to hire a diverse range of convicted felons — from drug peddlers to killers.
The measure was sent on Tuesday to the governor for her signature or veto after passing the state Senate and Assembly by big bipartisan margins in June.
Current law bars licensed casino operators from hiring anyone convicted of any felony.
Critics blasted the bill as an another example of a Democrats’ bleeding heart, criminal friendly proposal run amok.
“That’s just wrong. This is another example of the New York State Legislature imposing a liberal policy in an area they shouldn’t touch,” said state Conservative Party chairman Gerald Kassar.
“We’re trying to open up employment opportunities at the casinos. People deserve a second chance. They shouldn’t be denied employment because they got a drug felony conviction,” said Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon), who chairs the committee that oversees casinos.
Pretlow sponsored the bill along with state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens), who chairs the state Senate gaming committee.
The legislation says disqualifications will still remain in place for applicants seeking a casino license or job who have a prior felony conviction involving public integrity, embezzlement, theft, or fraud or perjury.
The gaming commission also will still have the discretion to deny a license after reviewing an applicant’s history.
Rush Street Gaming, when asked by The Post whether they championed the criminal hiring proposal, said, “Although Rush Street Gaming did not initiate this legislation, we are not opposed to it.
“We support the legislature’s commitment to second chances and strengthening of the New York workforce. The bill still leaves regulatory discretion to the NYS Gaming Commission to deny or issue a gaming license,” their statement said.
Hochul’s office said the governor is reviewing the legislation.
Kassar, the Conservative Party leader, said there are plenty of citizens without criminal records who can be hired at casinos and claimed the legislation was an “excuse” to hire convicts, and wondered if it was geared to help one wired individual.