Senator Spilka Statement on Vote Against Final Casino Bill
I have been elected to the State Senate by my constituents to fight for the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district. This is the reason I get up in the morning and the thought that is foremost in my mind when I am driving home from the State House at night.
I have heard from hundreds of my constituents – an overwhelming majority – that they are not in favor of expanding gambling as it is laid out in the conference committee bill.
Without the stronger protections contained in the Senate bill, they worry about a casino in their backyard–in Milford, a town that borders my district towns of Hopkinton, Holliston and Medway.
They worry about the possibility of a racino in Plainville, a mere five exits away from Milford on I-495—and only 6 miles from my district town of Franklin.
In essence, they worry about becoming the epicenter of this new gambling reality, without the transportation or infrastructure capacity to deal with it.
They worry about becoming the trampling grounds of gamblers, traveling from I-90, I-95 and I-495 over their already overburdened back roads—without having any say in the siting of these facilities or reaping the benefits.
They feel this is unfair, and I agree with and support them.
I therefore will not vote for the conference committee bill.
I worked hard on the Senate bill and voted in favor of because it called for three strategically and appropriately sited resort casinos that would maximize revenue for the Commonwealth–and because it would create much-needed jobs for thousands of people.
But I cannot ignore the overwhelming concerns of my communities and my constituents, who have unequivocally told me that they cannot and will not accept the conference committee version of the bill.
It is my honor to work on behalf of them every day, and it is my privilege to advocate for them at this crucial turning point in our state’s policy towards expanded gaming.
Senator Karen Spilka
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