Realizing the economic gains Montgomery County could reap from the Valley Forge Resort and Casino, I recently joined Reps. Marcy Toepel, Mike Vereb, other local state lawmakers and county commissioners as we unveiled legislation, of which I co-sponsor, that would redistribute the county share assessment of casino revenue to parks and nonprofit organizations across the county.

Like many counties across the Commonwealth, Montgomery County has had to make cuts to its annual budget. This legislation would help ease the burden of county budget cuts to our local parks and important organizations. Now is the time to seek out additional income sources to help offset the budget cuts to some of our county’s most treasured locations.

I worked closely with Rep. Toepel, author of this bill, to ensure that this legislation would provide funding to Missions Kids and Laurel House.

I’m pleased to work with this bipartisan coalition that includes Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro, Leslie Richards and Bruce Castor and my colleagues in state government to provide a dedicated funding stream for Montgomery County’s only child advocacy center, Mission Kids, and our only domestic violence shelter, Laurel House. Having worked with these organizations as a prosecutor, I’ve seen the important services they provide for our children and victims of domestic violence. It’s crucial we help them continue providing these services.

House Bill 2552: 

        • Would change the state Gaming Act to ensure that the Montgomery County’s local share 
            assessment for slots and table games would be specifically deposited into dedicated 
            accounts for the purpose of supporting the maintenance and refurbishment of the parks 
            and heritage sites throughout the county, as well as Mission Kids and Laurel House. 
            Mission Kids and Laurel House are both county-funded services which assist local 
            families in need. 
        • Under this legislation, parks and heritage sites would receive 75 percent of the designated 
            casino revenue, while Mission Kids and Laurel House would each receive 12.5 percent of 
            the revenue. 
        • The local share assessment was created to assist host counties and municipalities with 
            the costs of having a casino in their area. 
        • For slot machine play, the act currently states that 2 percent of gross terminal revenue is 
            distributed to the host county and 2 percent of the gross terminal revenue is distributed to 
            the host municipality. 
        • Each host county and each municipality then have specific uses for the money as 
            described in the act. As for table game play, the host county receives 1 percent of 
            revenue and the host municipality also receives 1 percent. 
        • As current law stipulates, the local share for slots and tables games is deposited into an 
            account with the Commonwealth Financing Authority. 
        • This financing authority is to use the money exclusively for grants for projects in the county 
            that qualify for the Business in Our Sites Program, the Tax Increment Financing 
            Guarantee Program and the Water Supply and Waste Water Infrastructure Program. 
        • Of the county’s cut under this legislation, estimated at $1.2 million each year, $900,000 
            would go to refurbish and maintain the county’s seven parks, five historic sites and 60 
            miles of hiking trails. 
        • Mission Kids and Laurel House, two local nonprofits, would each receive a yearly subsidy 
            of $150,000 from the casino revenue.

Press links:

Montco pols look to divert casino revenues to county 

New Bill Would Redistribute Casino Funds Back to Montco

One county wants bigger cut of gaming revenue

Legislation would divert casino revenues to county 

Montco wants casino money for parks, aid to abuse victims 

Montgomery County wants share of casino cash 

Montco lawmakers want county's casino revenue to benefit parks, abuse victims