With the buzz associated with our recent post, Bamberg Set to “Explore” for 2018 Gubernatorial Run?, it reminded us of a post that we meant to publish during the 2017 House Floor Budget debate. We haven’t endorsed any candidate yet, but Bamberg has been an extremely active legislator during his short time in the House. He has proven himself to be a lawmaker always thinking about the future for his District and all rural communities across South Carolina.
From Budget Week 2017…
During this year’s budget debate Representative Justin Bamberg offered up an amendment to create “a study committee to examine the feasibility of legalizing gambling, the possible revenue generated by legalizing gambling, specifically casinos, and to determine possible appropriations of revenue generated by gambling including, but not limited to, road improvement projects.” Sounded like a good idea to at least begin to study an issue that could bring billions in new revenue for state and local economies, while at the same time creating thousands of new, good paying jobs for South Carolinians.
In other southern states like Mississippi gaming accounts for billions of dollars worth of new economic activity and over $900 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue on an annual basis.
While some cite a moral opposition to gaming, it’s hard to disregard the fact that South Carolina voted solidly for a casino profiteer in President Donald Trump during the SC GOP Presidential Primary. It stands to reason that the same Republican lawmakers in the House who supported Trump would at least consider studying the impact of how allowing gaming in the state could potentially impact the state…both good and bad.
So how did the body vote on this study committee to bring in new revenue without raising taxes and/ or fees? It was defeated/killed by a vote of 68 to 40. A freaking study committee!!! We really can’t study the issue but yet our so-called “limited government” Republicans continue to support a government-ran gaming system, the SC Lottery.
It was encouraging to see that the forty who voted to at least STUDY the issue were a bipartisan coalition of members. I guess we should be somewhat thankful there are a growing number of lawmakers in the SC House of Representatives who believe it is time we at least study the feasibility of expanding gaming in SC and what this expansion could mean for the state, communities, and people of our state. These 40 lawmakers truly believe it is important to study ways we can grow state revenue without taxing or “feeing” us to death.
Check out the vote and tell us how your Representative voted…in fact you should ask them how they voted.
As we have stated before, the only way we will bring the much needed change to this state is by bringing new revenue, new jobs, and new hope to our state. So we applaud Rep. Justin Bamberg, “The People’s Rep,” for at least trying to convince his colleagues to study this potentially life-changing issue. We believe the vote count ultimately shows that tides may be changing in the chamber on the issue.