On Wednesday, Speaker Mike Busch’s House of Delegates provided yet another unfortunate example of why Maryland is seen as an unpredictable and often unreasonable place to do business. One of our readers provided a comic take on yesterday’s Gaming Commission debacle.
In published reports last night, neither Speaker Busch – nor his three Gaming Commission members, Sheila Hixson, Frank Turner and Pete Hammen – felt the need to offer any rational explanation for their behavior in blocking a destination resort that would create more than 8,000 mostly union jobs – while Maryland has led the nation in job losses over the last two months.
The Commission’s other eight members appointed by Governor O’Malley and Senate President Mike Miller agreed on a plan to fix Maryland’s underperforming gaming law by adding table games and a new destination resort that would attract the millions of tourists who visit Washington each year. The three House members of the Commission at first stormed out – and then, ultimately, opposed the compromise proposal that was offered.
Through their actions, the House of Delegate representatives maintained a politically-driven, broken gaming law that leaves Maryland uncompetitive with surrounding states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware – and collects little revenue for state priorities.
All of this leaves us wondering: What are the consequences, if any, for this type of political shenanigans in this battered economy? Will there be any price to pay for destroying thousands of union jobs destined for UNITE HERE, Building Trades and SEIU members? And will state employees and other stakeholders exact some cost for House members blocking hundreds of millions of dollars in new state tax revenue?
Click here for a cartoon to send to a friend.
Note: Some board members of Center Maryland have worked for gaming clients – others have not. We are unanimous in our bewilderment about the House of Delegate’s actions yesterday.