2013 NHDP Convention
Location:Nashua High School South
Date & Time:6/1/2013 at 9:30 AM
36 Riverside Street
Nashua, NH 03062
Nashua, NH 03062
XII. No licensee or any person owning an interest in a licensee or affiliated personnel shall be permitted to make a political contribution as defined by RSA 664:2, VIII.The key to this first loophole in 284-B:17, XII. is the definition of contribution in RSA 664:2, VIII. in current law and specifically a contribution to a political committee.
You might know that I sat on Finance for 12 years, four of which as chairman. I know the budget process. The argument that money from this bill will be directed to USNH or programs for those who depend upon the state for assistance or roads and bridges is not fact based. 1) this legislature cannot control what future legislatures will do,, 2) even the ardent supporters of SB 152 acknowledge that there is little or no chance that any money would come in during the 2014-15 biennium, 3) If at any time the hoped for money can be put in the budget it is more than likely that the senate will use it to take the place of other money -- example the tobacco tax increase and other funding sources. The budget that passed the house provided more funding than the governor's budget for some of the areas that matter most to you and to me, and in other areas the cuts were minimal.* * * * *
The best way that I can explain the finances in this bill would be to say that Millenium is offering a pay day loan to the state. $80 million, which is significantly less in upfront money than went to other states, has to be paid back by the state taking a lower rate in future taxation than in any other casino/gambling bill that has ever come before the legislature. I don't think we should permit our citizens to be gouged by pay day loans they take out personally. I certainly don't think the state should take out a pay day loan on behalf of its citizens.
And, by the way, the bill clearly calls for a commission charged with arranging for subsequent casinos. This is not a one casino bill. And the first and strongest conclusion that the governor's commission a few years ago issued is that we should do nothing until we had in place a well structured regulatory system. In the budget that came out of a committee of conference that I chaired we put $250,000 to pay for the work necessary to develop that system. The money is still sitting there because the advocates for casino gambling did not want to have such a system in place.
Forty five of our colleagues struggled to try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. They generated hundreds of pages of amendments in order to try to fix a bad bill. If we were to decide as a public policy that we want casino gambling in the state, then let's write a bill that sets up the regulatory framework and then put forward a plan that does not grant one-out-of-state company a license to take NH money out of our state.
I hope that your thinking will evolve on this matter. This is not real money. It will do nothing to fund the programs we care for.