After an overwhelming vote of support from the House of Representatives last week, the Senate last night voted to indefinitely postpone action on the bill. This morning, the House of Representatives voted to insist that the Senate take action. The bill will now head back to the Senate where it is anticipated that a motion to table will be made in order to allow a group of senators to rework the bill, in an attempt to create a comprehensive gaming plan for the State of Maine.
Last night's senate action was disappointing, but we were encouraged and gratified by the renewed support of Senator Valentino (D-Saco) who passionately voiced her convictions that this bill can be reworked to provide a true comprehensive gaming plan for the state. We are hopeful the Senate will do the right thing for the people of Maine by tabling this bill and giving Senator Valentino and others the time they need to accomplish this.
The future of Maine's harness racing industry, and the fate of Scarborough Downs, continues to hinge in the balance of this legislation. Sixteen hundred to 1,800 jobs directly related to the industry could be eliminated if the legislature fails to act, and the State of Maine will lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue and economic development.
by Susan Higgins, for Scarborough Downs