Three Views on Casino Bill

In a StateHouse News Bureau story reported in today’s Eagle Tribune, there are three legislator-perspectives on the current status of the Casino bill.

From Senator Stan Rosenburg (D-Amherst), chief gambling bill negotiator for the Senate – still hopeful:

Asked if he felt there might be an unbreakable impasse, Rosenberg said, “I’m still very hopeful and I’m hoping that we’re going to have a very long evening tonight.”

Rosenberg added, “It would not be fair to say that we’ve been close to a deal but the important thing is to keep talking, keep exchanging ideas, keep exchanging proposals, and that is happening.”

From State Representative Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill), the  lead negotiator for the House on the  gambling bill – somewhat pessimistic:

It may not,” Dempsey told the State House News Service when asked whether an agreement would be reached. “We shall see.” Asked whether the House conferees would permit a casino gambling bill to emerge without slot parlors, Dempsey replied, “I think that it’s clear what the House priorities are. We continue to have the same priorities we’ve had for the last year and a half. It’s always been about revenue and jobs.”

From Senate Ways and Means Chair Senator Steven Panagiotakos (D-Lowell), Senate conferee on the gambling bill – acknowledging negotiating difficulties:

Senate conferee Steven Panagiotakos, D-Lowell, said media reports on gambling bill talks make it more difficult to negotiate.

“People dig themselves into positions, public positions, and are not as free to move,” he said. “My feeling is compromise is not giving up your values, it’s getting closer to your values.”

Hovering over the conference committee proceedings are the other three – Senate President Therese Murray and Governor Deval Patrick who oppose racetrack slot machines and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo who is committed to them. Where would a betting person place his or her money? Time is running out. The legislative session ends on July 31st.  Stay tuned.

Article here in the Eagle Tribune.