The western US is marred with the crisis of homelessness; lawmakers and residents alike are constantly trying to devise ways to raise funds to help and support them. The Mayor of Wood Village, in Oregon, is making all efforts to get approval to open a casino in the city. He is suggesting that additional tax revenue earned from the casino would come to help deal with the crisis of homelessness.
Bruce Studer and Matt Rossman filed ballot proposals on January 30 with the Oregon Secretary of State. Once the ballot is sanctioned, it would open the way for the construction of the casino and entertainment center in Wood Village.
Studer explained in a statement that this casino would give $100 million annually for the cause of both homeless and school initiatives. The first initiative will permit privately owned casinos in the state of Oregon and the second initiative would generate funds, Oregon Lottery Fund, 70% of the casino revenues will be used to support homeless programs.
The city had twice earlier, in 2010 and 2012, tried to get the referendum passed for the approval of the Wood Village Casino project, but the residents voted against it both the time. However, Mayor of Wood Village, T. Scott Harden is confident that this time around the verdict of the public is going to be different,
The new major beneficiary of the dollars will be our homelessness efforts. I think in a lot of people’s minds, this would get them to think. It might be the tipping point for a lot of voters.
At present, the Oregon constitution does not allow private casinos, but if the Oregon voters approve the ballot initiative, it will change the constitution of the state. For this project to start, this alteration of the constitution is essential.
Mayor Harden believes that the residents of Oregon will take a different stand this time as the proposed casino is to raise funds to support housing and job programs along with drug programs for the homeless. He believes that
If you have a taxpaying casino that is popular, that people go to, then you are looking at permanent funding for permanent solutions to the homeless crisis.