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Assembly probably won’t override casino veto

June 23, 2010

Dont hold your breath waiting for the Assembly to come back into session to override Governor Carcieri’s veto of the casino referendum legislation. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed is vehemently against it; her Newport constituents loath the idea and it probably fares no better in the Jamestown end of her district. It is true that Majority Leader Daniel Connors supports the referendum, which would allow the slot machine parlors at Twin River in Lincoln and Newport Grand in Newport to become full-blown casinos.
Rhode Islanders have twice voted against allowing casinos. The Narragansett Indian Tribe’s casino proposals were defeated narrowly in 1994 and overwhelmingly in 2006.
For the record, Paiva Weed is saying that she has not decided on an override and must consult with her “leadership team” before making a decision.
But during the recently adjourned legislative session, she took the unusual step of leaving the Senate president’s rostrum to go to the floor and speak out against the casino referendum. That move was seen as an attempt to inoculate herself politically from the predictable fallout back in Newport, which for many years has had a strong anti-casino movement.
House Speaker Gordon Fox said that he hasn’t had time to study Carcieri’s veto message and has no position on whether to reconvene to override the veto. But if the Senate is not coming back to the State House there would be no reason for the House to reconvene. So don’t be surprised if the casino referendum fails to take place this year, which will make all the investors trying to get their hands on a piece of the Twin River bankruptcy unhappy.

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