>From the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling:
Less than 36 hours before they will be called upon to vote tomorrow (Wednesday), New Hampshire's five Executive Councilors received a "Late Item" request to approve spending $290,000 taxpayer dollars on two contracts with gambling industry consultants. This money would be spent to design a regulatory apparatus for slot casino gambling, a form of gambling that does not exist in our state and has been repeatedly rejected by the legislature.
Furthermore, the $290,000 will be taken directly state Lottery System net profits required by the Constitution* to flow to local school districts to support education. This $290,000 would be diverted from state aid to local property taxpayers - just when we are under greatest pressure - as a payoff to slot casino interests.
Even for those not objecting to predatory slot casino gambling, it is absurd to spend money developing a regulatory structure before the legislature would select among the many possible casino business models. This is a bell-clear instance of government waste aching to be zeroed out.
URGENT: Call or email your Executive Councilor, asking them to vote NO on both gambling consultant contracts - to vote NO on diverting badly needed state aid to local taxpayers. Numbers below are home for use this evening or early morning; the Executive Council meets at 10 am and the office number is 271-3632.
District 1 Councilor Ray Burton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 747-3662
District 2 Councilor Dan St. Hilaire, email@example.com, 568-5515
District 3 Councilor Chris Sununu, firstname.lastname@example.org, 658-1187
District 4 Councilor Ray Wieczorek, email@example.com, 345-0304
District 5 Councilor Dave Wheeler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 672-6062
*[Art.] 6-b. [Use of Lottery Revenues Restricted to Educational Purposes.] All moneys received from a state-run lottery and all the interest received on such moneys shall, after deducting the necessary costs of administration, be appropriated and used exclusively for the school districts of the state. Such moneys shall be used exclusively for the purpose of state aid to education and shall not be transferred or diverted to any other purpose.
It could well be argued that diverting lottery revenues for these gambling contracts is not among the "necessary costs of administration" of the lottery and is therefore unconstitutional.