Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

Well, it didn't take long for one of my 2010 predictions to come true. Yesterday the Philadelphia Enquirer reported that the State Museum of Pennsylvania is under threat of closure if the state's General Assembly fails to approve gambling legislation by this Friday. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell wants to push through legislation that would legalize table games such as Blackjack, Poker, and Roulette in Pennsylvania's slot casinos; the State would require casinos that implement these games to pay a one-time $16.5 million licensing fee and then levy a 16 percent tax on the revenue from the games. Potentially this is a significant earner - Rendell's office estimates that it could bring in around $249 million a year in additional revenue. Unfortunately lawmakers balked at the introduction of more gambling, citing concerns over the existing regulation of the industry in the State, so Rendell is now threatening to cut State staffing and services if the bill is not passed. The State Museum is one of the potential victims. While it's unlikely that concern for the Museum will sway many votes, a heap of juicy earmarks attached to the bill may prove more persuasive. Politics - don't ya just love it?

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