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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pa Supreme Court Extends Gaming Fix Deadline

Pennington and Heintzelman
Late last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stuck down the host fee that casinos must pay each year, concluding  that it violates the state constitution's uniformity clause. The state legislature was given until January 26 to enact a legislative fix, but has thus far been unable to do so. Three state senators sought and were granted an extension until May 26 on Friday. But in a testy dissent, Justice David Wecht grumbles, "[T]his Court should not, and I daresay properly cannot, ease the burdens of democracy by suspending the Pennsylvania Constitution at the first sign of political gridlock."

Given the absence of a legislative fix, Northampton County's Gaming Authority has adopted a wait-and-see approach. It will seek no grant applications until the legislature acts.

But it did reorganize at its January 23 meeting, and voted unanimously to keep the same leadership it has had in place the last two years: Jay Finnigan - Chair; Joe Kelly - Vice Chair; John Dally - Secretary; and Tom Nolan - Treasurer. It also welcomed Donna Louder, who has replaced David Willard as Lower Saucon Township's.representative.The remaining members of the Gaming Authority are Gerald Yob (Freemansburg), Dave Heintzelman (Hellertown), Tony Pristash (Northampton), and James Pennington (Lower Nazareth).

Treasurer Tom Nolan reported that the Gaming Authority has $105,000 in uncommitted funds and $42,000 in restricted funds at the end of the year.

Northampton County Council liaison Seth Vaughn was absent from the January 23 meeting.


Anonymous said...

Vaughn, absent? He will still get elected anyway, it doesn't matter

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, Seth Vaughn absent again, who would think it. Fire them all!

Anonymous said...

The same leadership doling out the same cash grab. No wonder the casinos are not happy.