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Reapportionment (Carol Bain)
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Gambling Report (Dorothy Bobilin)
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Gambling Report

We may be in for a rough ride in the 2001 Legislative Session. I often hear "every year it comes up and every year it goes away." Why do I think it's different this year? Well, the pro-Gambling efforts began earlier.

Speaker Calvin Say's public announcement (the day after he was elected Speaker of the House) and continuing promotion of casinos (one on each county) to pay for Long Term Care.

Consider:

Say introduced five bills on lotteries between 1993 and 1997, Say co-signed 2 casino bills, voted for a casino in Finance Committee, Say voted "yes" on a floor vote on a lottery bill in '97 and for the Bingo bill in 1991.

--All before he became Speaker. Since then, Say has signed on to bills. He stated in the Star Bulletin "There is a widespread misconception that I favor gambling on its merits." (12/16/00 SB ) The facts say otherwise.

PRO-GAMBLING WRITERS of "letters to the editors" in both Honolulu Star Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser have been published almost daily from both pro and anti gambling citizens.

TOP LEADERSHIP POWER: Both President of the Senate Robert Bunda and Speaker of the House Calvin Say are gambling proponents. Governor Ben Cayetano, who as previously alternated his position on gambling, has now stated publicly that he is "open to the idea."

COMITTEE CHAIRS IN SENATE AND HOUSE: The position of the chairs of three of the committees where gambling bills are most likely to be referred are progambling or are easily influenced. Analysis of the committee members positions, indicate that gambling bills could pass those committees subject to the votes of some new legislators whose positions we do not yet know.

PUBLIC UNIONS LAST YEAR BEGAN TO PROMOTE LEGALIZATION OF GAMBLING WHEN THERE WAS THE THREAT OF NOT RECEIVING THEIR PAY RAISES. Resistance to civil service and collective bargaining reform was a factor and may continue to be a factor during this legislative session.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: The LWV, with other organizational leaders and friends of the Hawai'i Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, hosted a free buffet lunch for legislators on Jan. 5, 2001, at the Capitol. Grace Furukawa is one of the cochairpersons. Education material will be available. On October 20, 2000, Dot Bobilin sent a letter on behalf of HCALG to Senator Inouye urging him to take action to eliminate the loophole in the Johnson Act which would allow foreign ships to have their casinos open while in Hawaiian waters. Senator Inouye was able to add an amendment to fix this problem. However, that victory may not be quite over. Stay tuned.

GAMBLING SURVEY OF CANDIDATES:

The total percent of candidates OPPOSED or PLEDGED against all forms of legalized gambling in Hawaii was 69.5 percent of HCALG's SURVEY respondents. The total number of cards returned was 173 or 53%. A majority of OHA candidates returning their surveys were opposed.

Dot Bobilin

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