HOW LOCAL LEGISLATORS VOTED ON 2011 CASINO LAW

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Beacon Hill Roll Call
Casino vote from 2011
June 25, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved.
By Bob Katzen

HOW LOCAL LEGISLATORS VOTED ON 2011 CASINO LAW
To Editors/Reporters: As you know, the Supreme Judicial Court on Monday ruled that the binding question asking voters whether they favor repealing the 2011 law legalizing casinos in the Bay State is eligible to be on the November 2014 ballot. We thought it might be helpful to send you the 2011 votes of your local legislators on the law.

Keep in mind that since the vote is from 2011, there may be some legislators who were not yet elected to the Legislature when the vote took place.

We have listed those legislators as “was not yet elected.”

The report follows:

Statehouse, Boston, June 26, 2013 – The Supreme Judicial Court on Monday ruled that the binding question asking voters whether they favor repealing the 2011 law legalizing casinos in the Bay State is eligible to be on the November 2014 ballot. The law was approved by the House 121-33 and the Senate 24-13 on November 15, 2011 and was later signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick. It allows three casinos and one slot parlor in the Bay State.

The court overturned Attorney General Martha Coakley’s ruling, challenged by casino supporters, that had said allowing the question on the ballot would violate the contractual rights of developers who had already filled out applications and paid fees to the state to be considered as one of the casino developers.

During the debate in 2011, supporters said this would create up to 15,000 new jobs, $270 million in one-time licensing fees and up to $500 million in annual tax revenue, some of which would go to cities and towns as local aid. They noted gambling is voluntary and argued Massachusetts is losing billions of dollars from its citizens, who now go to neighboring states to gamble.

Opponents said casinos attract mostly low-income people who cannot afford it and lead to crime, gambling addictions, domestic violence and even suicide. They questioned proponents’ rosy projections and noted some of the revenue from casinos would come at the expense of current Lottery revenue.

Two legislators, Reps. Brain Ashe (D-Longmeadow) and John Rogers (D-Norwood) both voted against the bill on this roll call but switched their votes on a later roll call and voted for it.

(A “Yes” vote is for the law allowing casinos. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Denise Provost No Rep. Carl Sciortino has resigned Rep. Timothy Toomey Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen No

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