Philly needs a second casino

When the legislation that created legalized gambling in Pennsylvania was passed into law, Philadelphia was rightfully awarded two casino licenses ("Casino license auction gets OK," Thursday).

Philadelphia has the population density, desirable locations, and transportation infrastructure to warrant and support two casinos. Of equal importance, our city has the need for two casinos, from the desperately needed construction jobs, to the direct and indirect jobs a second casino will generate, to the sorely needed funding stream for our financially strapped School District. The argument that the region has a glut of casinos, with Parx to the north in Bucks County and Harrah's to the south in Chester, is flawed because none of the revenue from those two outlying casinos goes to our beleaguered School District.

All three Philadelphia-area casinos are among the most profitable in the state, adding credence to the belief that a second casino in Philadelphia would be a success. Those who forecast a spike in crime and the decay of morality when SugarHouse opened its doors have been proven wrong.

Philadelphia was awarded a second casino license on merit. The only thing that has changed since is politics — the politics of paralysis that put our second license in play, and the politics now being played by state lawmakers looking to enrich their communities at our expense. Any state lawmakers who are not advocating for Philadelphia to retain its rightful second casino license are turning their backs on the city and the citizens they represent.

Philadelphia needs the economy, jobs, and taxes our lawful second casino would bring.

John J. Dougherty, business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, Philadelphia

Sign health-care bill, Christie

We agree with Gov. Christie's statement on the 2010 AARP Day: "I want everybody to have health insurance. I want everybody to be able to be provided with health care."

Two years later, Christie has on his desk legislation that could make that ideal a reality. Indeed, the governor has until Thursday to sign the New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act, which would establish a state-run health insurance exchange, rather than allow implementation of a federally developed exchange. This is something that nearly 60 percent of Garden State voters support, according to a recent poll commissioned by AARP.

The health-insurance exchange would serve as an online marketplace where individuals could shop for coverage in the event they no longer are able to afford, or no longer have access to, other health-insurance options. This same poll found that 41 percent of New Jerseyans are very or extremely concerned about their ability to maintain their family's health-care coverage.

Now is the time for Christie to act on his words from 2010.

Jeff Abramo, Communications Director, AARP New Jersey, Princeton

Your ID, please, Mr. Franklin

In regard to photo ID for voters, why don't we ask, what was the intent of the Founding Fathers ("Poll workers uphold the law," Tuesday)? Since they couldn't have imagined photo IDs, it must not be constitutional. Where are the strict constructionists when you need one?

Donald Stevens, Philadelphia

Ignore the voter-ID law

I suggest people ignore the voter-ID law, just as Harrisburg ignores the puppy-mill law ("Puppy mills up to old tricks," Wednesday). I am an 81-year-old registered voter who has never voted a straight party ticket, but I will this time.

Robert Lusch, Phoenixville