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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

That helpful GOP

Massachusetts Senate Republicans are graciously lending Deval Patrick a hand with the state's impending fiscal problems by promising to offer an amendment to that chamber's fiscal 2009 budget that would enable casino gambling.
"We want to fortify the governor's efforts going forward if he intends to refile the bill in the new year," said Senator Michael Knapik, Republican of Westfield. "Plus, we need the money."
Here's a sure thing: ain't going to make it.

While senators of both political persuasions may be annoyed they never got a chance to weigh in on the initial casino bill, I'd like the chances of the amendments success more seriously if the author was someone like Quincy Democrat Michael Morrissey.

It's a safe bet this little piece of mischief won't even make it conference. The House may currently be in chaos with House Ways and Means Chairman Robert DeLeo more interested in counting votes than dollars, but a gambling proposal would make the Finneran-Birmingham balacony budget meetings look quaint.

Speaker Sal DiMasi and Senate President Terry Murray would be wearing long coats and snowshoes if they repeated that saga.

For anyone interested in the details of the Senate plan, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (PDF) runs rings around the daily newspapers for details.

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