In the most vocal showing of support for a special legislative session on gambling from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown announced his support for the extra session in a letter published by The Gazette Friday.
“The plan offered by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker would spur the creation of thousands of construction jobs in the short term, thousands of permanent jobs in the long term and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity for years to come,” Brown wrote. “Building a world-class resort would be another step in the county executive’s efforts to revitalize the county’s economy and create a sustainable tax base to support the growing Prince George’s population.”
Brown’s letter comes as O’Malley plans to meet with Baker and top executives from Baltimore and Montgomery County to ascertain how hard those executives are willing to lobby lawmakers from those jurisdictions in the House of Delegates.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett both support building a casino at National Harbor and authorizing table games at every state casino, but delegates from those jurisdictions are wary of allowing a gambling expansion.
Brown’s letter could put a dent in some opposition among Prince George’s delegates. Brown represented Prince George’s County in the House and was majority whip before becoming lieutenant governor. He said the issue is worth debating and ultimately sending to the voters for approval this fall.
“The county executive has developed a strong plan, and the governor has worked to build consensus on the difficult issues,” Brown wrote. “Marylanders deserve to have their say in the voting booth this fall in order to decide the issue democratically and help us make a clear and responsible plan for our state going forward.”