Gov’s lawyer heads to DC for showdown over Taunton tribal casino

Gov’s lawyer heads to DC for showdown over Taunton tribal casino


A HEARING IN WASHINGTON TODAY COULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON A STALLED CASINO PROJECT IN SOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS. (DN) IT’S A BATTLE THAT IS LEADING TO A RARE DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE RHODE ISLAND AND MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATIONS. HERE’S WHY…. THE HEARING COULD PAVE THE WAY FOR THE MASHPEE WAMPANOAG’S TO FINISH THEIR PROPOSED CASINO IN TAUNTON. SOMETHING BAY STATE LAWMAKERS WANT… BUT RHODE ISLAND LAWMAKERS DON’T…. BECAUSE IT COULD DRAW VISITORS FROM THE RECENTLY OPENED TWIN RIVER CASINO IN TIVERTON… 23 MILES SOUTH. (PL) EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER ERICA RICCI HAS OUR TOP LOCAL STORY AT 6:30 IT’S NOT OFTEN A PIECE OF LAND HERE IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IS THE CENTER OF DEBATE ON CAPITOL HILL, BUT THAT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY…. AS THE FIGHT IS ON OVER TRIBAL LAND THAT COULD HOUSE THE TAUNTON CASINO DEPENDING ON WHO WINS. THE MASPEE WAMPANOAG TRIBE BROKE GROUND ON THEIR PROPOSED CASINO IN TAUNTON THREE YEARS AGO THIS WEEK. BUT CONSTRUCTION WAS HALTED JUST A FEW MONTHS LATER… WHEN THE U-S INTERIOR DEPARTMENT TOOK AWAY THEIR RIGHT TO TRIBAL LAND. UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, THE TRIBE HAD THEIR LAND SECURED IN A TRUST. BUT OFFICIALS WITH THE CURRENT ADMIINSTRATION CITED THE FACT THAT THE TRIBE WASN’T UNDER FEDERAL JURISDICTION WHEN THE INDIAN REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1934 WAS PASSED… AND AS A RESULT, REVOKED THAT DECISION YANKING THE LAND FROM THAT TRUST AND ULTIMATELY FROM THE TRIBE. WHO OWNS THE LAND IS CRITICAL IN DETERMINING IF THE MASHPEE’S BILLION- DOLLAR TAUNTON CASINO PLAN CAN PROCEED. THE BATTLE IS PITTING RHODE ISLAND AND MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. THE BAY STATE’S DELEGATION FIGHTING TO TAKE BACK THE LAND… BUT RHODE ISLAND’S LEGISLATORS ARE PUSHING BACK- RECOGNIZING ANOTHER CASINO RIGHT NEXT DOOR IS BAD NEWS FOR TWIN RIVER… AND ULTIMATELY FOR RHODE ISLAND WHERE GAMBLING PROCEEDS ARE ONE OF THE STATE’S LARGEST REVENUE SOURCES. CONGRESSMAN DAVID CICILLINE SAID IN A STATEMENT: “THIS BILL IS BAD FOR RHODE ISLAND. I HAVE STRONGLY COMMUNICATED TO MY COLLEAGUES MY STATE’S CONCERNS AND OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL.” GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO AGREES AND IS SENDING THE STATE’S TOP LAWYER TO WASHINGTON TO TESTIFY AT THE HEARING AGAINST GIVING BACK THE LAND. IT IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE AT TWO THIS AFTERNOON. ER, EWN.

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