Top US Online Casinos
1. Jumba Bet Casino - $25 No-Deposit Bonus Plus a $1,200 Welcome Welcome package.
2. Bovada - Best bitcoin casino and massive welcome bonus worth 100% up to $3,000 Free.
3. Lucky Creek - 66 Free Spins Plus 166% up to $266 Free.

Maine Voters May Decide Casino Debate

14 March 2011 by admin

maineIn the ongoing fight about casino expansion in the U.S. state of Maine, the voters may get the final say. State lawmakers are indicating that they may wait and put the options on the November ballot, letting the residents decide during the election.

It’s exactly the kind of spineless action you often see from politicians who are afraid to vote on controversial issues. The residents of Maine elect representatives to represent them in the legislature by voting on their behalf, but when an election is looming and the lawmakers are worried about how a vote will make them look, they often turn that responsibility back to the people, saying “you decide for me.” That way, there is no one to blame for a controversial outcome.

There are 13 different gambling bills facing the state legislature. All but one of them may be postponed and put on the ballot as a referendum. That includes two ballot initiatives that were already approved by voters.

Voters in Lewiston, Biddeford and Washington Counties approved casinos in their areas. Since the citizen initiatives have enough signatures to be put on the state ballot, Maine’s constitution gives the lawmakers two options. They can either vote to enact the initiatives as law or they can put it on a November ballot, letting the entire state vote on the measures. In that case, the state could also put a competing measure on the ballot. Based on what we’re hearing out of the capitol, the latter seems most likely.

For those who want to see casino expansion and the extra jobs it will create, that seems like an unnecessary delay. “There is no need to rush,” according to Republican Senator Nichi Farnham, who is co-chair of a committee that handles all gambling bills. “There seems to be a compelling reason to wait until after November,” she said. Of course, Senator Farnham may feel there is no need to rush because she represents a district that already has a casino. Those who want a casino and the added jobs in their area may feel differently.

Senator John Patrick, a leading Democrat on the committee, agrees, but says that one bill, L.D. 677, needs to be addressed sooner than that. The bill would clarify existing law regarding how distances are measured. There is currently a dispute preventing Black Bear Entertainment from building a casino because law requires it to be at least 100 feet from an existing slot parlor. The proposed site is only 95 miles from Hollywood slots when measured in a straight line, but is 125 miles by road travel. The bill would clarify that the intended measurement is in road miles, which would allow the casino development.

If that law passes, Black Bear should get to continue its casino plans. Everyone else, though, may have to wait until the end of the year because Maine’s lawmakers are afraid to vote on controversial issues before an election. In a representative republic, it is the job of the legislature to vote on behalf of the constituents who voted them into office. If the people don’t like how you vote, they then vote you out of office and possibly vote in someone who will repeal or amend your vote. Abdicating that responsibility does no one any good.

Comments are closed.