Lawmakers from Maine are trying to stop a voting regarding a possible authorisation of a casino in York County.
US.- Maine lawmakers are trying to stop a casino voting in York County by passing and then repealing the proposal, as reported by the Portland Press Herald. This idea to stop the referendum would be a first in the state.
If the officials are successful in their push, they would stop any possibility to vote on the subject this November. The news outlet said that the lawmakers behind the initiative believe that whilst it could be a long shot, the ballot is an abuse of the local initiative process, therefore it’s important that they continue pushing against it. “If we don’t stop some of these types of referendums in the Legislature, they are going to get more and more and more extreme. We as a Legislature have to decide when are we going to take our role as the people’s representatives seriously,” said Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon.
Rep. Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, said that they’re just looking at all of their potential options, and enact the ballot and then repeal it is one that came up. While it has all just been informal talks, it is one I am open to,” he added. If Maine authorities want to repeal the ballot by pulling out a never-before-seen action, they would also need the support from legislators and the local governor Paul LePage, who would need to sign the initiative into law. Whilst the Governor said that voters should have the right to decide wether or not they want casinos, he also claimed that casino gambling isn’t real economic development.
On the other end of the line, Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, disapproved the measure as he believes that it’s dangerous for future referendums that people worked hard on and were legitimate. Whilst he agrees that the proposal is concerning, he insists that “people get to decide on referendums, and certainly if this is a bad referendum people will decide and turn it down.”