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Act 2: Undo it

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

State legislators surely know where roads paved with good intentions lead. Yet this year, they passed Act 2 — which is sending veterans clubs and volunteer fire companies straight to a government-created hell that threatens their very existence.

Lawmakers thought Act 2 would help such groups by increasing prize limits for the small games of chance they rely on financially and by letting them keep 30 percent of proceeds. But it's dramatically cutting the take for groups that had been keeping all such proceeds all along — though state law since 1998 had said it all had to go to charity.

And facing onerous reporting requirements effective in February, many of these groups say they'll close rather than do hours of weekly paperwork.

That's why state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-California, and other Southwestern Pennsylvania lawmakers want the governor to place a moratorium on Act 2 until the Legislature can address it.

Their Act 2 repeal effort is bipartisan. That's as it should be, because Act 2's flaws affect so many communities — especially its particularly pernicious prospect of effectively forcing local-level tax hikes to make up for the small-games revenue it's costing volunteer firefighters.

A state that sanctions lottery, slots and casino gambling shouldn't hogtie community groups that depend on small games of chance to survive as community assets. Lawmakers and the governor must undo Act 2's harm — posthaste.

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