CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following comments in reaction to statements made by House Finance Chair Rep. Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) indicating it was a “mistake” for the Governor to include $80million in gambling license revenue in the budget and that she would be directing division chairs to search for ways to cut $80million from the Governor's proposed budget.
House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)
“I agree with the Rep. Wallner that including $80million in gambling license fees is a mistake. Not only is it contingent on legislation that, in the past, has failed in the House dozens of times, there is also no guarantee that we would actually receive those fees in a timely manner, or even in this next budget period.”
“As we know, the State would be required to have an open and competitive bidding process, but as we’ve seen with other bidding processes, litigation is always a concern. Take for instance the recently initiated litigation involving the Liquor Commission, who is being sued over a warehouse contract, alleging unlawful favoritism and orchestrating the bidding process. When you’re dealing with single vendors or licenses with industries or contracts worth millions of dollars, you’re bound run into issues where someone thinks the process is unfair. I would urge the members of the House to consider this aspect whenever the $80million comes into the picture. Litigation could delay the process months or even years. It’s a gamble that sets us up to fail.”