Sunday, August 1, 2010

Squaring off over final bill

The Governor and the Speaker have squared off in a steel-cage match of sorts, with last night's legislative-session deadline of midnight passing and neither backing down. Both the House (120-37) and Senate (25-15) passed the final compromise bill -- which would allow for three casinos and two slot parlors in the state -- but Gov. Deval Patrick has said all along that he was leery of slots. He did grudgingly agree to accept one and only if there were a bidding process for the license.

What now? You have to believe that Patrick gamed this out with some plan for victory. He's been pushing expanded gambling -- and courting the blue-collar vote that goes with it -- for three years. He can't allow himself to be seen as the obstructionist when the goal is so close. So he sends back the bill with an amendment that strips one or both of the slot parlors from the proposal, tossing the proverbial ball back into the legislature's court.

House Speaker Bob DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray have both said they would not bring their bodies back in session, but neither of them wants to be the obstacle to passage. They'll make sure it gets done and still be able to say, "Hey, I fought for slots, but it wasn't in the cards." All three leaders will then claim victory.


N.starluna said...

Yes, but CORI reform finally passed.

Neighbor said...

They still have no idea what's in the bill. I read them Friday night(it's broken into two bills for technical reasons), 120 pages worth. They told us they'd do it right yet those 120 pages were rife with errors. Then they issued 18 pages of corrections, more than 10% of the law had problems?
Apparently they still don't have the final versions. I'm not sure how this is even legal.

From the Statehouse News Service:
PUBLIC STILL TREATED TO FLAWED GAMBLING BILL: Two days after lawmakers passed a pair of lengthy gambling bills, the public is still being treated to error-riddled versions of the proposals on the Legislature’s web site, and it’s unclear whether members have had access to a corrected version either.

John Ribeiro