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LL was running around the Wilson Building today chasing various stories. Here are a few tidbits he picked up along the way:
1) The online gambling legislation is hilarious. At a gaggle with reporters after a lengthy hearing, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and hacks were still trying to figure the details of the law, which was passed last December without a public hearing. In any event, Evans indicated that he may be tapping the brakes on plans to start online gambling in the District in September, over concerns that the public hasn’t had enough time to weigh in on so-called online gambling “hot spots” that will be sprouting up around town. Note: tapping the brakes does not amount to killing the law.
Meanwhile, anti-gambling activist Marie Drissel shared with LL some of her FOIA results, which show that D.C. Lottery partner Emmanuel Bailey was keeping Councilmember Michael A. Brown (the sponsor of the online legislation) apprised of contract negociations with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
“Huston we have a problem!” Bailey wrote to Brown’s private email in March of last year. (It’s actually spelled “Houston,” but if you’re from there, you would pronounce it “U-ston.”
2) The District has various mid-budget-year holes it has to fill, which include an additional $700,000 for “increased pharmaceuticals spending” by the Department of Corrections; between $800,000 and $2 million for three to nine fired teachers D.C. Public Schools expects it will have to reinstate; up to $43 million in additional spending by the Department of Health Care Finance, and $1.5 million in “unforeseen increased ticket processing” by the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is related to paying for collection agencies to collect on unpaid traffic tickets.