Schweyer supports gaming bill to maintain $5 million for Allentown

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, issued the following statement regarding today’s state House of Representatives passage of an expanded gaming bill.

"Today, I joined with a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in voting for an expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania. After much debate and deliberation, my support came down to one simple provision: the re-establishment of the Local Share Allocation for the city of Allentown. Our city absolutely needs the approximately $5 million of annual revenue, which helps pay for our city's police, fire and other operations.

“I have strong reservations about a number of provisions about this bill, most notably the expansion to internet, home-based gaming. Furthermore, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am certain that this bill will not make any kind of real dent in our state's persistent and dangerous structural deficit. We cannot kid ourselves – this does not make Pennsylvania solvent.

“But I was elected by the people of Allentown to put our city's interest first, and these dollars are absolutely vital to maintaining our city's public safety interests. Without this, Allentown's residents would face a huge property tax increase or a risk a dramatic cut in public safety services," Schweyer said.

House Bill 271 heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.