Pro and Anti Slots Groups Face Off in Maryland
On July 12th, 2008, the union representing more than sixty thousand state and local employees came out solidly for a constitutional amendment allowing slot machine gaming on the November referendum, saying that jobs and other services will be shelved if the referendum failed to push through.
Patrick Moran, the state director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said that they already have a $200 million deficit and they always bore the effects of budget cuts. Moran commented that the slot machines would contribute $700 million to the state, the same amount of money said by the pro-slots organization For Maryland, For Our Future in their bid to push the slots referendum. That is bigger than the estimates from legislative analysts.
The chairman of the Stop Slots Maryland, Aaron Meisner said that pro-slots organizations are just inventing the amount of money that the slots machine will give the state. He added that gaming is not a stable sector that they should rely on for the future of Maryland. Glen Middleton, the executive director of AFSCME Council 67 said that they desperately need additional funding for the school system and they are also lacking funds for their 1,300 grounds and maintenance workers for city schools.
The legislative analysts said that with the current structural deficit currently predicted for the fiscal year of 2009 until 2013, it is generally assumed that all of the available ETF funds will used to supplement operating programs and offset general expenditures-or replace the cash being spent.