Monday, January 16, 2012

Making the case for repeal: Reckless lawmaking

There are many reasons why the District’s new online gambling should be repealed, but let’s start with the process that led to the law’s adoption. 

In December, 2010, the District council approved legislation that will bring online gambling into homes, bars, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops – almost anyplace imaginable. 

District officials worked on this plan for more than a year, and even prepared draft legislation in the Spring of 2010.

Although the proponents of this law had ample opportunity to submit online gaming as a free-standing bill, they refused to do so and, instead, attached the legislation as a rider to the budget. 

On the eve of adoption, Peter  Nickles, who was then the District’s attorney general, wrote a letter to the District’s elected officials with concerns about the proposal. 

Nickles letter concludes: In sum, with no detailed on-line gaming implementation plan for review, no feedback from the public gained through public hearings, and no hard answers to a bevy of thorny legal issues, the Council nevertheless appears to be poised to pass the Lottery Modernization Act of 2010. For the record – and, more importantly, for the District’s sake – I hope that the legislation proves to be worth the gamble.” 
Nickles offered clear caution to lawmakers who then ignored it. It was a reckless action on their part and an affront to the community. 

They can correct this mistake, restart this process, and air the issues openly by repealing this legislation.

To read the letter, click on the images to enlarge. 




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