Maryland assembly to show its hand on gambling
Delegate Frank S. Turner, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee that will vet the bill, said it is “a good start,” but he is troubled by different tax rates for casinos. The restriction on campaign contributions may be overkill, he said.
“There are going to be a lot of amendments to tweak the bill,” said Mr. Turner, Howard Democrat. “I’m not a skeptic, but I think we’ll have to look at the bill and debate the bill. I see some things that I’m very concerned about.”
House Republicans are expected to lead opposition to the bill and could be joined by some Democrats who have characterized the legislation and the special session considering it as a hastily crafted effort to pass tax breaks for wealthy casino magnates months after the assembly raised taxes on many middle-class families.
“I think this whole process is disgusting. There is no emergency,” said House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell, Calvert Republican. “If we’re going to consider this, we ought to do it in a measured way and not make a deal in some back room.”
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Thursday, and the full Senate could debate and pass it as soon as Friday, chamber aides said.
The House Ways and Means Committee will have its hearing Friday, and floor debate is expected to begin next week.
Delegate Justin D. Ross, Prince George’s Democrat, said he is optimistic that the bill will pass.
“We’ll see where it heads, but it’s trending in the right direction,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.