On November 4th, Marylanders will be faced with a ballot referendum question about whether to amend the Maryland constitution to legalize slot machine gambling at selected sites in Maryland. No matter how you feel about gambling or slot machines, one thing is sure: this is bad legislation, and a bad way to implement it.
It’s being marketed as a mechanism to fund education, but in fact any revenues will end up in the general fund and used however the legislature sees fit. The reason it’s turned into a constitutional amendment measure is that similar legislation has already failed to pass the General Assembly for multiple years in a row. And the only way to amend the Maryland Constitution is to have a ballot referendum.
Is this really the sort of thing we want to embed in our state constitution, the same document that protects your right to free speech and to redress the government?
Today we went to the Fells Point Festival in Baltimore to talk to people about how they feel about the ballot measure, and everyone we talked to had serious questions about the details of this proposal. Watch and see how people feel.