A different perspective on MA casinos

Despite having a full schedule, Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) made the time to discuss the current casino legislation two days ago. Garballey covers most of Arlington and part of Medford in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was elected in 2008. He is a member of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources,and Agriculture, the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, and the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.

As we talked about the current legislation, Garballey mentioned that this is not the first time such legislation has been introduced. “In 2008, the House crafted a bill that was similar to the current Senate version. That bill called for the construction of three casinos but there was no provision for slot machines,” he explained. Though the House legislation didn’t become law, he seemed to have felt that wouldn’t have been the end of the issue. “There was a lot of support for the House bill, even though it didn’t pass.”

The current House version passed unanimously by a vote of 120-37 in April of this year.

With the bill currently on hold and the legislative session almost over, its passage is called into question. Even if a compromise is reached before July 31st, the public is probably curious as to how effective the legislation will be given the current economic climate. The latest unemployment figure, calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the state is 9.0% as of last month.

Though this month’s percentage has not yet be released, chances are it will stay in the range of 9.0% to 9.5%. Unemployment figures for the Bay state haven’t gone below that range since September 2009. This is figure is approximately half of the figure for country’s underemployment, which was released by Gallup on the 19th.

Garballey is running for reelection in the 23rd Middlesex district and intends to kick his campaign into high gear once the session ends. His constituency appears to appreciate his efforts as more than six hundred local supporters attended his campaign launch party in May.


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