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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

PG delegates, economic stimulus, slots

(Posted 19 Aug 2008)

Should states get an economic stimulus check? .
wtop.com, 19 Aug 2008 (Ryan).
WASHINGTON - Chances are you got an economic stimulus check from the federal government. Maybe it helped you out of a jam.

So should your state government get the same helping hand?
U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) thinks so.

Van Hollen is supporting a congressional plan to give money to states to help them cover the soaring costs of health care, among other items.
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Maryland is facing a $200-million shortfall, has a record number of foreclosures and has seen an uptick in its unemployment figures.

But the state could seen an infusion of cash if gambling - in the form of slots - is expanded. In November, Maryland residents will vote on bringing slots to the state.

Even if Marylanders pass the slots referendum, it will be years before any money raised reaches state coffers, Del. James Proctor (D-Prince George's County) says.

"First of all, it has to pass and that hasn't taken place yet. And we don't want to spend that money before we get it," Proctor says.

But Proctor says there's another reason slots may not be the answer.

"If you look around the states that have it, including Las Vegas -- the number one site for slots and gambling -- their revenues are down because of the economy," Proctor says.

Maryland state delegates who support Van Hollen and the federal fiscal package include Gerron Levi (D-Prince George's County), Bill Bronrott (D-Montgomery County), James Proctor (D-Prince George's County) and Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County).

Levi, Bronrott, Proctor and Mizeur all say they will vote "no" on bringing slots to Maryland.

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