Poarch Creek shouldn’t get ‘sweetheart deal’

 House Speaker Mike Hubbard, while awaiting trial for 23 felony charges, is pushing hard to give the Poarch Creek Indians the exclusive right to operate Class 3 gambling casinos in Alabama.

This monopoly would be a multibillion dollar bonanza for the Poarch Creek Indians. It is well known that in the past the Poarch Creek Indians have funneled money to Hubbard’s political action committees. Alabama doesn’t need any sweetheart deals on casino gambling. Let the people vote. Then if gambling is approved, let the locations and casino operators be selected based on competitive bidding.

 Carl Summers

Auburn

Bentley solution best for state’s budget woes

 Our state is in crisis affecting every citizen. Governor Bentley has a solution.

He has studied the budget problem and found continuing sources of revenue to fund essential services. His budget will affect the least number of people without putting further hardship on those least able to pay. All agencies could continue vital services.

Neither the House nor the Senate has come up with a plan that will fund state agencies adequately.

According to AL.com, proposed solutions from the Legislature would mean:

A 5 percent cut for the Department of Human Resources would stop subsidized child care for 10,000 children, lay off 110 employees in child support payment enforcement and cut programs protecting children from abuse and neglect.

A 5 percent cut in Medicaid would lose federal funds, eliminate programs such as adult eye glasses and outpatient dialysis

If prisons lose 3 percent, two facilities would have to close, relocating 2,000 prisoners and resulting in 222 percent overcrowding. Federal intervention can be expected. No money would be available to implement Sen. Cam Ward’s prison reform bill.

Food service for the elderly and homebound would be curtailed.

Hospitals will close leaving counties with no health service.

Court system cuts would impact child support, divorces, criminal procedures, etc.

Some legislators are considering gambling as a solution to funding deficits. Gambling does not bring in expected revenue, has proven to be economically unsound in other states and additional money has to be spent on welfare programs.

What can you do? Contact you legislators and ask them to pass the governor’s budget as presented. The Senate switchboard is 334-242-7600 and the House switchboard is 334-242-7800.

It is time for the people to be heard. Budget discussion begins Tuesday, May 19. Please act now!

 Lorna Wiggins

Auburn

‘The 39 Steps’ is delightful play

 Anyone who hasn't attended the currently playing "The 39 Steps" presentation by Auburn Area Community Theatre is missing another super production.

It is such a delight to be entertained by each of the group's performances, yet this one is especially good but simple. Four actors and many behind the scenes helpers make this "cheap" entertainment so enjoyable.

Andrea Holliday always comes through. Remaining performances are May 21, 22, 23 at 7 p.m. and May 24 at 2 p.m. at the Jan Dempsey Arts Center, located at 222 E. Drake Ave., Auburn.

 Carol Chunn

Auburn

Legislators should make tough choices

Once again, on the front page of the Opelika-Auburn News there is discussion of the gambling bill that is working its way through the Legislature. I guess our legislators don't want to do any hard work on the budget and make some real and substantial cuts in government waste and duplication of services.

They are willing to sell the soul of Alabama for $250 million and allow the Poarch Creek Indians exclusive rights in gaming.

Alabama will vote but do we really want to change the state song from "Stars Fell on Alabama" to “Viva Las Vegas?” Gambling hurts families, communities and people. It is an addiction that must be fed with ever increasing chance taking to get the same thrill.

It is not harmless entertainment and will ruin the very core values of this state. Changing the Constitution and selling this state out to the highest bidder is not the way to do business.

Our Legislature needs to do their job as they swore to do, uphold the Constitution of Alabama and do the hard things that are needed.

Evelyn Mickle

Opelika

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