In Rare Post-Recess Session, Senate Approves Casino Bill Again

The re-vote follows a 24-2 vote last week in the early-morning hours of a marathon legislative session to end the year that was soon found to be problematic since it didn't have a supermajority.

The Rhode Island Senate voted 32-2 in a brief, nine-minute session on Monday to approve legislation that will put before voters a question whether to allow table games at Newport Grand.

The re-vote follows a 24-2 vote last week in the early-morning hours of a marathon legislative session to end the year that was soon found to be problematic since it didn't have a supermajority.

Twelve legislators didn't vote last week and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, of Newport, said the new vote was held to be on the safe side of potential legal tie ups.

Weed said Governor Lincoln Chafee approached her last week and said "you know there's a legal issue with the vote," referring to the fact that some people would see part of the bill as an appropriation because of language that calls for Newport to get $1.5 million out of the deal each year for the first six years.

"It appeared to me and on the advice of council and in an abundance of caution that the proper step to take would be to protect the city's appropriation and move forward with a second vote," Weed told the Associated Press.

Investor and former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino Jr. is proposing to buy Newport Grand and invest more than $40 million along with a group of fellow investors, converting the drab slots parlor into a world-class Monte Carlo-style casino and resort.

The two legislators voting against the bill on Monday were Sen. Louis P. DiPalma of Tiverton, Middletown and Newport and Sen. Edward J. O'Neill of Lincoln, North Providence and North Smithfield.

Sens. Daniel DaPonte (East Providence), James E. Doyle (Pawtucket), Walter S. Felag Jr. (Bristol, Tiverton, Warren) and Sen. Lou Raptakis (Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) did not vote.
Mike Warner July 02, 2014 at 09:53 PM
Newport Truth, no one could have said it better than you did!! Absolutely 100% on the money!! I you haven't already, please consider join the Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling or at least like their Facebook page and check out their website. I'll post the links below. Thanks for caring about the future of YOUR city.
Mike Warner July 02, 2014 at 09:53 PM
Mike Warner July 02, 2014 at 09:53 PM
Jeff Thompson July 08, 2014 at 12:21 PM
How exactly can Newport not handle the new owners of the casino making money? It sure works out just fine for the owners of the mansions (who don't pay taxes BTW). The people who will visit the casino and "roll out" as you put it, are the people who wouldn't have come to the city at all were it not there, thus bringing more visitors and tax dollars that are desperately needed. If people want to come to Newport for the shops, mansions, beaches, and waterfront dining they most likely don't want to visit the casino. Which is fine! It will be another amenity to add to the city. Not the last hope, not the be all end all, not the focal point, an amenity. If you want to know what's hurting the small businesses (i.e. Potter's) look at their tax bills (I won't go over the tax benefits that the new building will provide again) ask the landlords who are doubling and tripling rents because THEIR tax bills are skyrocketing. And what about the other 6 months out of the year when the Mansions are basically (if not literally) closed, there are no visitors to the beaches, and the waterfront dining restaurants are boarded up for the winter? People will still visit Newport Grand. And that's the real reason all the wealthy J-Boat owners (Liz Meyer) and the people on the point don't want it to go through, they only want "their people" in town. Anyone who doesn't go to Polo matches and have their own crew running their yacht isn't welcome to them. So they will do all they cant to stop it, lying included.


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