The governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, showed contempt for his legislature and his dislike for racing on Sunday, vowing to overturn the overwhelming 73 percent approval by the legislators of a gambling expansion calling for three casinos and two racinos, the latter to be won by bidding from the state's four tracks.
The legislature went to the last hours of its current session Saturday, when 116 of the 160 members voted in favor of the hardwon compromise between House and Senate negotiators. That vote is veto-proof, but two votes short of what is needed by the Senate to override amendments from the governor.
The Speaker of the House, who led the fight for racinos, told media, "Make no mistake about it, anything short of Gov. Patrick signing this bill represents a decision to kill the prospects of 15,000 new jobs and bring immediate local aid to our cities and towns." He made the statement, according to the Boston Globe, with 100 lawmakers standing behind him.
In an interesting twist to events, however, the President of the Senate, Therese Murray, who fought hard with the governor to oppose the racinos, urged him Sunday to sign the bill that passed. She suggested he do so and declare "a great victory" because she says the legislation as passed still enables the governor to block track slots by amendment or executive order.
From Harness Tracks of America
Courtesy of the US TROTTING ASSOCIATION'S Web Newsroom