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Mass. AG: ‘Delighted’ Over ‘Thoughtful’ SJC Ballot Decision

BOSTON (WGGB) — The Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled this morning that a question calling for repeal of the 2011 law can be on the November ballot.

The ruling overturns Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s finding that the proposed ballot question is unconstitutional, because it would cause casino developers to lose property without compensation.

The expanded gaming legislation passed in 2011 allows for up to three regional resort casinos and one slots parlor in Massachusetts.

The state’s Gaming Commission recently granted MGM Resorts International a license for a proposed $800 million dollar casino in Springfield.

The two remaining licenses have not yet been awarded.

Tuesday afternoon, Coakley discussed her reaction to the SJC’s ruling.

“Well, we’re glad the decision was made. I’m delighted the SJC made a decision. It’s a long and thoughtful decision that says that this should go on the ballot. We always knew whatever decision our office had made, it would go on the ballot, so the signatures have been gathered and it’s clear that the signatures will go on the ballot and we’re working out to certify the question. So the discussion in Massachusetts has been lively about the benefits and about the people, passionate about what the detriments are continuing and I think it’s a healthy discussion for Massachusetts,” Coakley explains.

Coakley adds that the reason that she did not go with this initially was not because it was issue based, but because of legal based reasoning. She reiterates that she is happy that the legal process is being followed.

ABC40 asked if MGM or anyone else can file an appeal. Coakley does say that today’s ruling does leave open the opportunity for more court and legal battles.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • Doggone

    What a politician she is. I’ll bet she was “delighted”. Why didn’t she just go with the people’s request in the first place and save all this haggling over what the “voters” wanted.
    Who knows, maybe there’s hope for the law abiding gun owner’s like most other states have. Of course we will need a stronger Republican base to overturn some of the rediculous amendments that do not have any impact on violent crimes.

    • Rags

      Agreed. She wasn’t delighted at all. The SJC basically slapped her and told her that her objections and legal arguments to keep this off the ballot were not founded in good law. What Attn Gen wants to be told by the SJC that her legal opinion is garbage.

  • party

    And to add to your Comment Doggone, We are crazy if Springfield does not allow a casino in the South End it will be so beneficial to this part of Massachusettes I know there are negatives but the positives outweigh them 100 to 1 putting it on the ballot is because this fucking state is so democratic that the politicians want a piece of the pie and the people who want to live struggling cant stand change I just cant go any any more about that decision!!!

    • Doggone

      First of all, thank you for an intelligent, civil comment, not some histerical, vulgar rant that seems so common here.
      Our view points differ on this subject and that’s o k. I may be wrong on whether a casino will be good or bad, but I’d rather err on the side of caution rather than try to transform Springfield into another Atlantic City disaster that has proven that casinos don’t benefit communities, rather benefit the casinos. I’d hate to see Springfield fall into a further state of crime and poverty on a gamble that a casino will improve the city. And what if it doesn’t? Now what? Who do we blame, the voters who were misled by a big money machine?

    • Rags

      Casinos are not the only answer to the issues and challenges facing western MA. They may not even be the best answer. But getting the politicians around here to get serious about the issues is impossible