Sankey Backs Veterans, Local Businesses With Small Games Vote

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield) joined a majority of his colleagues Monday in moving to the Senate House Bill 290, legislation which would assist Pennsylvania’s charitable clubs and veterans service organizations by increasing the types of small games of chance they would be allowed to offer, and expand opportunities for them to give back to their communities. The legislation would amend the Small Games of Chance Act and is part of a two-bill package that includes House Bill 1098, which is headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Corbett following passage by the General Assembly.

Sankey offered this statement in updating the status of the legislation:

“While I was not in office when it was voted into law, Act 184 of 2012, which amended the Local Small Games of Chance Act, is something I was confronted with as soon as I went to work. I was told how it did more harm than good and is in need of correction. This pair of bills will do just that and has the approval of the constituents I spoke to, most recently by the ones I touched base with over the Veterans Day holiday.

“We often refer to the fact that there are fewer and fewer World War II veterans in our communities. That speaks to the problem our veterans organizations are facing, dwindling numbers that are simply the result of the years passing by. Those veterans who are still with us deserve this support, as the legislation would expand revenue opportunities for the clubs to which they belong.

“Our restaurant and tavern owners have taken a hit in recent years, and House Bill 1098 is a vote for them in providing them with another revenue stream. It also impacts veterans clubs by allowing them to keep more of what they generate through expansion of small games opportunities.

“Finally, we are about halfway through the 2013-14 fiscal year and it is not too early to start thinking ahead. A portion of the money the expansion of small games would generate goes into the state coffers. It’s not much, but we need to begin to address what at this point is estimated to be a $500 million shortfall going into 2014-15. I stand on my pledge to vote against tax increases, and this legislation takes steps toward reducing that anticipated deficit.”

Questions about this or any legislative topic should be directed to Sankey’s Clearfield district office at 814-765-0609 or his Osceola Mill office at 814-339-6544.

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