Monday, February 2, 2009

New sheriff, new laws

Robert DeLeo, the new speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, is in position to strongly influence two contentious issues that will effect East Boston in the near future: casino gambling and toll hikes.

DeLeo, who represents Winthrop and parts of Revere (including Suffolk Downs and Wonderland), has already spoken publicly about his positions on both matters. A vote to legalize gambling (to at least include slot machines and maybe more) will come "before the end of the year" reports the Associated Press. Former speaker Sal DiMasi was the main impediment to this proposal last year.

Meanwhile, the speaker told Michelle McPhee that the state needs "to do something fair and equitable" to meet the costs of transportation in the state" and not let a few communities pay for it. That would seem to indicate his support of a gas tax rather than a toll increase.

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