Letter: It’s just a keno bill

Saturday, July 15, 2017
It’s just a keno bill

As the mom of two young kids – one who just finished kindergarten and one who will start kindergarten in a few years – I’ve been following the progress of full-day kindergarten with keen interest.

And Senate Bill 191, which recently passed both the state House and Senate, is a keno bill, not a kindergarten bill.

Looking at the text of SB 191, you see on its face that the bulk of its language is about keno: where and when it can be played, how to get a license to operate a game, how much revenue keno operators can keep (8 percent) and so on. It’s not about kids.

I strongly agree with the recent letter from Concord School Board member Maureen Redmond-Scura (June 22) calling this bill a “kindergarten sleight of hand” and very much disagree with the letter from Concord School Board member Pam Wicks (July 6) thanking the state Legislature for this bill’s passage.

SB 191 ties early childhood education – the foundation of lifelong learning, professional success and personal well-being – to how much money adults forfeit at keno counters. This is a risky move for our kids, our communities and our state’s future workforce.

Going forward, I hope Gov. Chris Sununu can make good on his campaign promise to deliver full-day kindergarten we can truly count on, rather than asking us to count on our friends’ and neighbors’ losses at the gambling table.