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Discover Niagara Shuttle funding caught in Albany deadlock

Bills that would provide a dedicated funding source for the Discover Niagara Shuttle, a bus that connects Niagara Falls tourists to other western Niagara County attractions, are being blockaded as State Legislature leaders work out their differences on other issues.

The Niagara County Legislature and the Niagara Falls and Lockport city councils unanimously asked for 1 percent increases in their "bed taxes" on hotel and motel bills to benefit the shuttle.

Those are among 25 to 30 "home rule" bills being "held hostage," Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello, R-Niagara Falls, said Friday. He and Assemblyman Michael J. Norris, R-Lockport, said they've heard no opposition to the actual content of the bills.

A spokesman for Sen. Robert G. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said if the session is reopened, the bills could pass.

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