Casino Bill Update

Thank you very much to Representative Carolyn Dykema for attending our event on September 25 and answering our questions. The top two contenders for the “Northeastern Region” casino site are Milford and East Boston (Suffolk Downs). The most clicked link in our last email was the location of the proposed Milford casino, which would be nestled between Route 85 and Route 16 on the Hopkinton/Holliston side of Milford. Here it is again in case you missed it: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=33+New+York+Ave,+Framingham,+Middlesex,+Massachusetts+01701&msa=0&ll=42.168938,-71.500225&spn=0.028818,0.054159&t=h&z=14&msid=105846700826706787977.0004765faeddb24bdd8ba 

The Massachusetts House voted to authorize casino gaming on September 14, the Massachusetts Senate has not yet completed its debate or voted. The Senate is still going through over 180 proposed amendments. Two of Hopkinton’s Sentator, Karen Spilka’s amendments did already pass:

  1. The first amendment adopted makes clear that the initial studies an applicant is required to provide to the Gaming Commission would not be deemed to prevent the need for corresponding studies and reports prepared for host or surrounding communities. Host and surrounding communities will be significantly impacted and this amendment ensures that a municipality has the ability to receive additional studies on these impacts from the Commission or gaming applicant that they need to fairly negotiate agreements. 
  2. The second amendment adopted authorizes the Commission to provide for reasonable costs of negotiating agreements between municipalities and applicants – the Commission may require applicants to pay these costs. Since the negotiation process can be burdensome, complex, and expensive for host and surrounding communities, this will give them the tools they need to ensure effective and fair representation. 

Read more from Senator Spilka at http://karenspilka.com/2011/09/26/senate-adopts-spilkas-amendments-to-protect-communities/ and read this recent article about Senator Spilka’s role in the Senate debate so far http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/politics/state_politics/senate-gambling-debate-stalls-out.

What Can Hopkinton Residents Do? 

  1. Write to Senator Karen Spilka and Governor Deval Patrick. Snail mail is best, but in the interest of time you should feel free to call or email them if that is easier for you. 
  2. Educate Hopkinton is looking for more volunteers to help keep our subscribers informed about this important issue. Please contact Amy Ritterbusch at amyritterbusch@educatehopkinton.com if you can help. We already have three people who have stepped up to work on this issue, but could use more. 

Contact Info 
Senator Karen Spilka
State House – Room 511C
Boston, MA 02133 617-722-1640
Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov
Gov. Deval Patrick
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor – Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
617.725.4005