Members of the North Carolina General Assembly North Carolina, Legislative Building: 16 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Cutting taxes of hard-working Americans and businesses is always the right thing to do. At a time when the Biden administration has handcuffed our economy with out-of-control interest rates and spending, states are searching for new sources of revenue to pay the bills. But conservative legislators must stand strong and demand that any new revenue streams come with the understanding of how those changes will impact the people of their communities. The Pelosi doctrine of passing a bill to see what’s in it should never be the standard of our elected officials.
Just recently, the North Carolina legislature legalized online sports betting in the state, which will take effect in early 2024. This expansion of gaming came after years of deliberation with hearings and input from the community. Now, the legislature is looking to expand gaming again by adding new casinos and video lottery terminals with no understanding of how the most recent expansion of gambling has affected the people of North Carolina.
The draft legislation would permit wagering in locations specifically chosen by lobbyists who wrote the bill in the back rooms of Raleigh. The language also severely limits who can operate a casino — not surprisingly, only those companies who have paid the lobbyists to sneak expanded gambling into a massive budget bill would get a license. And that license would be for 30 years!
President Trump has long talked about “the Swamp” and those who make government work for special interests rather than for the People. It now looks like the Swamp has come to Raleigh.
The budget bill is the result of backroom dealings where only select special-interest groups had the privilege of negotiating. If North Carolina is to expand gaming, it should do it outside the budget negotiation and not subject the state to a lobbyist-created monopoly.
We are strongly against haphazardly promoting new streams of revenue that could adversely affect North Carolina voters, especially those in poorer communities where these casinos and video lottery terminals are being proposed without the proper risk assessment.
Finally, we object to the lobbyists holding tax cuts hostage to gambling expansion. Conservatives understand that we can cut taxes without raising revenue elsewhere. Give the people back their money, allow them to spend it, and watch your economy grow.
If the governor and the legislature want to add new gaming in the future, they must have hearings, allow for expert and community input, and come to a decision that benefits the many, not just lines the pockets of a few.
Chad Connelly, Founder & CEO of Faith Wins
Pastor Tim Cruse, North Carolina Director of Awake America
Kimberly Fletcher, Founder & President of Moms for America
David H. Safavian, CPAC Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Terry Schilling, Executive Director of American Principles Project