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Hamburg used to get $1.2 million a year in state aid for hosting the video lottery terminals at Hamburg Gaming.

The town receives about half that amount now.

But state Sen. Mark J. Grisanti is seeking to have the state revert back to the original formula. The Buffalo Republican sent a letter to Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean G. Skelos, asking that the funding be included in this year’s state budget at the 2008-09 levels.

“Municipalities affected by this legislation have been cut approximately 60 percent, placing a financial strain to make up for this shortfall,” he wrote.

Payments to Yonkers, where the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is located, were cut only 2 percent, Grisanti said.

Grisanti and state Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, lobbied last year for an increase, and the state did increase the share to $680,176. But for several years before that, the share going to Hamburg was $557,000

Erie County received $225,725 last year for being a host county.

“The Town of Hamburg should be receiving its fair share from the state,” Grisanti said, adding that last year was a good start, but that funding should be returned to the 2008 level of $1.2 million.

There are seven upstate communities hosting racinos that would be affected by the legislation, Grisanti said.

“Enactment of this legislation will bring equity to these municipalities and restore badly needed funding,” he wrote.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com