IT AIN'T OVER UNTIL THE GOVERNOR SINGS (Update)
Massachusetts chief ploughs ahead with $189 000 casino study despite recent House defeat
The Boston Globe reports that Governor Deval Patrick is pushing forward with a $189 000 casino study, even though his plan for bringing casino-style gambling to the state is dead in the water until at least next January following a debate by the state legislature (see previous InfoPowa reports) .
Responding to questions about the study, Daniel O'Connell, state economic development secretary, released a statement this week saying that his office will allow Spectrum Gaming of New Jersey to complete its work.
Spectrum has spent about a month on the three-month contract, but the company has yet to bill the state for any of its work. O'Connell said the administration was sticking with the contract based on questions from lawmakers during the casino debate, which ended when the House killed Patrick's bill for three resort-style land casinos last week. The Patrick bill also contained a clause making Internet gambling in the state a felony.
"We have been encouraged by our colleagues in the Legislature to obtain a credible and objective analysis of the impact of expanded gambling in the Commonwealth," the statement said. "We believe the outcome of this analysis will prove valuable for future public policy decisions."
But one legislative leader said yesterday that the study will be stale by the time the issue reaches the Legislature in its next session, which begins in January, and recommended that the contract be terminated to save money.
"The administration should pay the consultants for the time already put into the study and be done with it," said state Representative Daniel E. Bosley, co-chairman of the committee that made a negative recommendation on the casino plan last week. "If the governor files his casino bill again next year, the study will be almost a year old at that time."
State legislators had earlier defeated the governor's casino plan by 108 to 46.