Monday, June 14, 2010

Ali and Slots

Delegate Saqib Ali (D-39) has submitted the following reply to anti-slots advocate Minor Carter's guest blog criticizing him for a vote on slots in the 2007 special session.

Minor, Hi!

Actually, I think you have badly misread the legislative record regarding this issue. Any neutral observer who was there during the 2007 special session knows the truth is otherwise.

You fail to mention that I voted against HB 4. Why is that? This was the constitutional amendment. And this was the very contentious vote. And this was the last major hurdle to overcome to send the issue to referendum.

You also fail to mention that SB 3 was completely contingent on the passage of HB 4. Just read it for yourself:

"AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That, subject to the provisions of Sections 9 and 10 10 and 11 of this Act, this Act shall take effect on the proclamation of the Governor that the constitutional amendment, having received a majority of the votes cast at the general election, has been adopted by the people of Maryland."

SB 3 setup the parameters of the Maryland Slot Machine program in case the constitutional amendment was ratified by the voters. Everyone knows that if the voters rejected HB 4 (which I voted against in the Assembly and at the ballot box), the passage of SB 3 would be completely irrelevant. There is absolutely nothing in SB 3 that actually allows/disallows slots. It's all about how, not if. And if there is language in the bill that you think proves otherwise, I would welcome you to point it out.

In any case, this issue seems to be settled. In my district 60% of the population voted in favor of slot machines. I happened to disagree with them. However they prevailed. It seems to be settled.