July 8, 2012
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
Pursuant to Article LVI, as amended by Article XC, Section 3 of the Amendments to the Constitution, I am returning to you for amendment Section 152 of House Bill No. 4200, “An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2013 for the Maintenance of the Departments, Boards, Commissions, Institutions and Certain Activities of the Commonwealth, for Interest, Sinking Fund and Serial Bond Requirements and for Certain Permanent Improvements.”
Section 152 concerns the requirement set forth in section 106 of chapter 194 of the Acts of 2011 (the “Gaming Act”) that the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) conduct a study on whether the happy hour regulations in Massachusetts should be amended to protect bars and restaurants from casino competition. Section 152 amends the Gaming Act, to require that this study be completed by October 1, 2012 instead of June 30, 2013.
The ABCC already has scheduled hearings on this topic, running until September 18, 2012. As such, I do not think it is prudent to request a final proposal by October 1st. I believe that January 31, 2013 is a date that will provide ample time for assessments and further discussion following the fall hearing period without unduly delaying the final study release.
For these reasons, I recommend that Section 152 be amended by striking out the words “June 30, 2013” and inserting in place thereof the following text:-
January 31, 2013