Chafee, with criticism, signs casino referendum

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island voters will now pass judgment on adding table games to Newport Grand.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed into law on Thursday legislation authorizing a referendum to let voters decide in November on Newport Grand’s renewed casino drive.

The legislation spells out the financial terms under which a casino would operate if approved by voters statewide and in Newport.

The Providence Journal reports that Chafee attached a message saying he has reservations about the constitutionality of a portion of the law. The governor says requiring the Division of Lotteries to obtain approval for regulations from a legislative committee violates separation of powers.

Chafee says those provisions of the law do not become effective until after the start of the next legislative session, giving lawmakers ample opportunity to fix it.

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