Maryland Special Session Underway, Protesters Gather For Gambling Expansion

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Credit: WNEW reporter John Domen

Credit: WNEW reporter John Domen

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC) - Maryland lawmakers have gathered in Annapolis for a special session focused primarily on gambling legislation and protesters have followed suit.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will meet later this afternoon to discuss and possibly vote on the specifics of Governor O’Malley’s gambling expansion bill that was proposed Tuesday evening. The latest drawing of the bill highlights the inclusion of table games and a new casino in Prince George’s County. The new casino will be somewhere near the nation’s capital – sites like Rosecroft Raceway and the National Harbor are the two primary targets. The bill would prevent any new casinos from opening until 2016.

The gambling expansion has to make its way through the Maryland House of Delegates, Senate and then be approved by voters in a statewide election.

Gambling expansion will not be the only issue lawmakers discuss in the special session. Also up for debate is legislation being considered addressing a ruling by Maryland’s highest court that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” animals. Lawmakers will address landlord and third-party liability in the event of dog attacks by placing liability for those attacks directly on the owner of the pet.

The Maryland Senate will be formally called to order to open the special session Thursday afternoon at 11:30. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will begin holding hearings at noon.

The House of Delegate will not convene until Friday for their meeting, a gathering which not every lawmaker is enthusiastic about having.

“It would have been nice if the proponents of this had their act together enough to pass the legislation during the general session. I think everyone agrees with that, ” said Delegate Tom Hucker of Montgomery County.

Stay tuned to ALL NEWS – 99.1 for updates live from the Maryland State House from WNEW reporter John Domen…

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