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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 280         FILED ON: 1/15/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 166

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

William N. Brownsberger, (BY REQUEST)

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to amending certain provisions of the expanded gaming legislation: H.3807- Acts of 2011 c. 194.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Mark A. Thomas

482 Beacon Street  Boston, MA 02115


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 280        FILED ON: 1/15/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 166

By Mr. Brownsberger (by request), a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 166) of Mark A. Thomas for legislation to amend certain provisions of the expanded gaming legislation: H.3807- Acts of 2011 c. 194.  Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to amending certain provisions of the expanded gaming legislation: H.3807- Acts of 2011 c. 194.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              1.              WHEREAS, the General Court passed and the Governor signed into law on November 22, 2011 the above-referenced H-3807 Expanded Gaming Act;

              2.              WHEREAS, Chapter 23K § 15(13) of the Expanded Gaming Act provides that:

                            i.)              All citizens of a “host city or town” may vote on whether a Casino Establishment is permitted to operate there, except the citizens of Boston, Worcester and Springfield, wherein approximately 90% of these (3) cities’ voters are denied their ability to vote;

                            ii.)              Citizens may not view the full details of a “host city-town” agreement between a municipality and a Casino Establishment. They may only view a concise summary of the agreement for a limited time;

                            iii.)              If citizens of a “host city-town” reject by certified ballot election the presence of Casino Establishment in their municipality, a Casino Operator may request another ballot after 180 days.  

              3.              WHEREAS, a long-standing decision of the U.S. Supreme Court directed at Massachusetts voting rights and government procedures states this: “Preserving the integrity of the electoral process, preventing corruption, and ‘sustaining the active, alert responsibility of the individual citizen in a democracy for the wise conduct of government’ are interests of the highest importance.”  First Nat’l Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 788-89 (1978).

              4.              WHEREAS, certain clauses of § 15(13) directly opposes this Supreme Court instruction and other long-standing Equal Protection decisions  of the same Court.

              5.              WHEREAS, § 15(13), by omitting and concealing protections, affords the proposed Casino Operator significant advantages and greatly hinders Massachusetts citizens by violating the Declaration of Rights, Articles V, VI, VII.

              6.              WHEREAS, the Senate President, Speaker of the House and Governor together with the Members of the General Court are under solemn Oath of Office to abide “faithfully and agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Massachusetts Constitution, So Help Me God;”

              7.              WHEREAS, the Senate President, Speaker of the House and Governor together with the Members of the General Court are also under solemn Oath to the United States Constitution by Article VI, Clause 3;

              NOW, THEREFORE, being that Chapter 23K § 15(13) of the Expanded Gaming Act does infringe and deny the substantial rights of Massachusetts’ citizens by providing an unwarranted and unlawful advantage to prospective Casino Establishments:

              BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, finding the best interests of the Commonwealth greatly served, does hereby AMEND H.3807 Acts of 2011 c. 194, Chapter 23K § 15(13) as follows:

              i.)              All registered voters in any “host city-town” where a proposed Casino Establishment is to be situated are eligible to vote;

              ii.)              Following a rejection by certified ballot election denying a Casino Establishment in any “host city-town,” another such election shall not be held for at least 24 months from the date of such rejection;

              iii.)              Full details of the entire “host city agreement” shall remain available in hard copy and on the Web site of the municipality for at least 24 months or for the duration of any Casino License which ever is longer.

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