Sarno involved in casino legal effort

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has joined a legal effort connected with a lawsuit being considered by the state’s highest court.

Sarno and nine other registered voters in the city are asking that the Supreme Judicial Court gets Springfield’s perspective on a case involving a proposed ballot initiative that would repeal the legislation that allowed casino gambling in the state. Attorney General Martha Coakley rejected the proposed ballot question, saying that it would violate the state constitution, but proponents have taken the issue to the state’s highest court.

Sarno and the others are concerned about the effects the ballot initiative would have on the city, whose voters approved a host community agreement with MGM last summer.

“The initiative petition intimately relates to the rights of the City under the host community agreement approved by voters citywide,” City Solicitor Ed Pikula said in a statement sent to 22News. “Our efforts are aimed solely at assuring that the SJC gets the Springfield perspective as to the legality of the initiative petition.

Springfield is the only community in the western Massachusetts region with an active casino proposal. The plan is awaiting a final decision by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

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