Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray has put her energies into a bill that focuses on big ticket health care cost control. The purpose of the bill is to ensure small business health insurance premiums cost relief of between 10 and 15 percent. The way the bill works is that it allows small businesses to join forces and leverage lower prices from insurers.
“I hope the House will act soon so that [small businesses] will get some relief,” said Senate President Murray.
However, as important as this bill sounds, there are few issues in the state as important as creating enough revenue to cut down the looming budget deficit. That is the reason that House Speaker Robert DeLeo has set his focus on passing legislation to legalize slot machines.
However, Senate President Murray and Governor Deval Patrick are two of the biggest obstacles facing DeLeo’s bill. Ironically, neither of them are against the legalization of slot machines. Murray and Patrick simply do not think racinos, slot machines at racetracks, are the best thing for Massachusetts. They would like to see brand new casinos built in the state.
It is possible that part of DeLeo’s motivation to get slot machines at the track is to get the machines up and running as quickly as possible. It will take years before brand new casinos are built and their slot machines are generating revenue. However, racetracks could, theoretically, have slot machines operating in months. Several states in the region, such as New Hampshire, are also considering the legalization of slot machines.