First Instinct: More Gambling
We all know we need to cut the state’s budget deficit. And while Monique has laid out some specific areas for potential budget cuts, our legislature did what it has done so well over the years: looked for the quick fix.
Rhode Island’s part-time lawmakers returned to the State House yesterday, opening the New Year and the 2008 General Assembly session facing crushing budget deficits this year and next that are likely to dominate Smith Hill discussion over the next six months.
Within minutes, lawmakers in the House and Senate were introducing bills to allow round-the-clock gambling at both Newport Grand and the Twin River slot parlor and track in Lincoln, and citing the state’s financial plight as a justification.
OK, to be fair, I’m sure (heh) there are some real, long-term fixes being proposed. But what does it say about the legislative mentality when the first real budget cutting / revenue raising proposal is to expand gambling hours? Kinda symbolic.