Gov. Seeks Gambling Head, Hears Revenue Forecast

By Sarah Birnbaum

Dec. 12, 2011

BOSTON — The Governor is back on Beacon Hill Monday, fresh from a trade mission to Brazil and Chile. Patrick, state officials and corporate leaders made the trip to strengthen business and cultural ties with the region, but critics question whether the trips will create any jobs. 

Now that he’s back at home, one of Patrick’s first orders of business will be appointing someone to head up the powerful casino-gaming commission. The chairperson will make $150,000 per year – more than the governor himself. They will be in charge of awarding the coveted casino licenses and overseeing the new gambling industry. The pick could be made as early as this week. 

On Monday afternoon, a lineup of economic experts will predict how much tax revenue the state will bring in in fiscal year 2013. Jay Gonzalez, the governor’s budget chief, said last week he expects tough fiscal times to continue and anticipates more state budget cuts in the year ahead. 

And a push is underway to let Massachusetts liquor stores sell alcohol on the Monday after Christmas. Right now, the Blue Laws prevent businesses from selling booze because Monday, Dec. 26th is a federal holiday. But a bill pending in the Legislature would allow package stores to open. Supporters want to see the measure approved and on Patrick’s desk by Thursday.

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