At this point it should be very well understood that lawmakers have an affinity for the taxes generated from in-state gambling. In fact, a lot of commentators have said that lawmakers are addicted to the casino money and will do anything to get more. The Illinois based paper, The Hawkeye, is reporting a most unfortunate truth:
A bill being crafted in the Senate would cut nearly $3 million in money intended for gambling treatment programs at a time when casinos are seeing record business. That would [only] leave about $2.2 million, plus several hundred thousand dollars expected to be left over from the current year’s budget, state public health officials estimate. Don McCormick, a spokesman for the state health department, said if the cuts are approved, fewer Iowans could get help for gambling addiction.
Radio Iowa Online is reporting that the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is appalled at the decision claiming more money is needed:
The chair of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission says she’s not happy about the plan to cut money for the state’s gambling treatment program. Commission chair Kate Cutler says more money needs to be earmarked to gambling treatment. She says the funds came from gambling revenues and is providing a successful program, but needs even more resources, and to cut it not seems to be a bit short-sighted.
This news is unbelievable. As if the legislator doesn’t receive enough money from the gambling industry to fund state activities, they are now cutting the treatment fund in half by removing $3 million to fund other programs. Taking an additional $3 million from the industry is one thing, but to take the very money used to treat those with addictions is deplorable.