What do states as diverse as Texas and California, or New York and Georgia, all have in common?
Like about half the states in the country, they allow voters to have the final say on gambling expansion. This recognizes the fact that casinos can have a profound impact in the communities and states where they are located. And therefore the people should have a direct say in approving them.
This is what Amendment 3 will do for Florida. Voting yes will put the people of our state in charge of gambling decisions.
It is a right we used to enjoy. A provision added to the Florida Constitution in 1968 called for voter control of gambling. From 1978 through 2004, five gambling initiatives went to voters. Three times they rejected Las Vegas-style casinos, but they also approved the Florida Lottery and slot machines in pari-mutuels in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
But after 2004, politicians in Tallahassee began ignoring the constitutional provision, ended voting and assumed control of gambling decisions. And ever since, we have had one gambling bill after another, crafted with the assistance of casino lobbyists, introduced in the Florida Legislature.
Amendment 3 rejoins Florida with the other states that require voter approval of gambling decisions. It restores voters’ rights so the politicians can never again take away our authority over gambling decisions.
This is your state. Gambling expansion should be your decision. Vote yes on Amendment 3.
Cheryl Taaffe, Port Orange
Paid Political advertisement Paid for by Voters in Charge, PO Box 1991 Orlando Florida 32802.