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-The Five Spot

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

question #2

I owe it all to Mrs. Cattell – she was my second grade math teacher—who made me vow that I would always vote. As soon as I met the requisite criteria, I've remained civically engaged…

On Tuesday, I will be faced with Question #2 – a Maryland referendum on slots. For any Marylander, this topic of whether the state should permit slots has been a decades old controversy. The proponents for slots claim that slots are needed to fill the budget gap and provide guaranteed funding for the state’s education system and public servics. Opponents to slots indicate it is immoral and that there is a disparate impact to poor, minority households. Frankly, either sides' rationale hasn’t moved me either way. Yet, there is a slippery slope factor to the rationale of proponents.

Frankly, I believe in all my life, generally speaking of course that states have always had problems funding education. So, I have a hard time believing slots will solve yet alone alleviate the funding problems for education. The problem with government is that there continues to be chronic problems that citizens just want to apply provisional solutions too. This shit is problematic. And I get that states are facing hard times and residents are placed in between a wall and a hard rock. Will we ever get to the root of the problem, oh I forgot the adage Americans don’t care about problems – only solutions.

As of right now, 85% of Bellini wants to vote against question #2. But since “Question 2, the so-called slots referendum, is the most effective way to fully fund our kids' schools, keep our police on the beat, our firefighters on call and our health care services available to our neediest children," according to the Governor’s office my 15% remains intact. Don't get me wrong, Bellini has love for the kids. Yet, I’m facing this quandary and I’m not sure what to do about question #2. I do owe it to teachers to discuss this question with them firsthand. And I intend on talking to some teachers prior to Tuesday. But the assertion that “We have already cut spending by $2.2 billion and eliminated more than 1500 state positions. But frankly, it's not enough to solve our long-term budget problems." Is clearly rubbing me the wrong way. Long-term?
Gimme a break
States that utilize gambling revenues (i.e. lottery, slots, etc.) continue to be plagued with budget shortfalls in education.

Well folks, as a savvy voter, who expects nothing less from you savvy individuals — I have a minor request that you provide some deliberative thought to state, county, and municipal referendums that affect your neighborhoods. And eventhough the presidential elections may be the impetus to stand in the long lines to exercise our civic duty to vote, remember there are other issues brewing in your community that need your dire attention. Let this serve as your public service announcement!



1 comment:

dorian g. said...

As a MD resident I am for Question 2. Yes I understand that schools and public works have and will probably always be underfunded. Yes I realize that slots will just be another way for the already poor (read: minority) residents of MD to get poorer. However to me not allowing slots of all things, in the state is akin to a guy refusing to moonlight as a bartender even though he's living check to check. Sure its not life changing money, but since when has relatively "safe" revenue ever been a bad thing?