Saturday, May 13, 2006
Issue 10 ----- Gambling
Candidates Express Their Views on Gambling
(This is not the major announcement.)
We asked the candidates for their responses to 13 questions. We've made it to issue 10. We put the candidates names in the blogomatic candidate randomization selector, so the order of their answers is totally random. Here's the tenth of our questions.
What is your position on legalized gambling in Pennsylvania?
Act 71 and Act 72 were about 3 issues: Referendum, Gambling and Property Tax Relief. As a Superintendent along with our School Board, we became an Act 72 School because that was the only way to provide for some property tax relief to our home and farm owners. I am not a proponent of gambling but I wouldn’t turn the clock back towards no effort for property tax relief.
Gambling is legalized in many forms in Pennsylvania. The upcoming revenues that will be generated from slot machines are expected to be $1-2 billion. This should be used in a program I have developed to reward academic excellence and help families with the cost of higher education. High school students who graduate with a “b” or higher average would be eligible to receive scholarships to attend our state-system schools.
I don’t believe increasing our dependence on gambling revenues is sound public policy, or that gambling should be viewed as an economic development tool. However, gambling is here, and we need to provide our communities with the resources to address the consequences, namely more state police and assistance to local law enforcement departments.
The Gaming Control Board must be open and accountable to the public and the system must be appropriately and vigorously monitored.
I support Representative Clymer’s efforts to repeal gambling. Like the pay raise, it was unconstitutional in process and wrong in principle. It pretended to cut taxes and limit spending, but all it did was open the floodgates for a vice. Some have said it is here to stay, but that is what they said about the pay raise. If we want to repeal it, we can. PA doesn’t need gambling, we need good jobs.
What is your position on legalized gambling in Pennsylvania? Gambling in PA is going to foster yet another addiction. However, many Pennsylvanian's that I have spoken to on the campaign trail are happy gambling is coming! If we are going to have gambling, and it looks like we are, then we should take advantage of the revenue with regards to reducing our burden of property tax. As you know, I have already taken these steps as an elected official of the Dallas School Board in voting for Act 72.
I believe the revenues from legalized gambling in Pennsylvania can go a long way to reducing the property tax burden in the Commonwealth. High property taxes are an undue burden on all property owners, but particularly upon our senior citizens.
Bigus is trying to have it both ways (as he has been known to do...ask anyone who was at the Shickshinny debate where his representative claimed Bigus was on the way...while he knew he was two counties away at another event!) He was against it before he was for it before he was against it! (Gambling that is)
Remember the pay raise....they thought it was a done deal, but it was repealed.
Gambling could be the same. We have already seen the corruption (and even death) related to the gambling industry in PA and it hasn't even started yet. If we don't stop it, more and worse will come!