Several members of Massachusetts' House delegation today expressed disappointment in the decision by Department of the Interior Secretary Salazar issued a decision today to reject the agreement between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to establish a gaming site in Taunton. The compact reached between the government of Massachusetts and the sovereign Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was done in good faith, and was expected to generate millions in shared revenue for both sovereigns.
"This was an agreement reached in good faith between the Bay State and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and it should have been respected, not dismissed," said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the Ranking Member of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over Indian affairs. "This is the kind of partnership between states and tribes that the department should be encouraging, not discouraging."
"Today's decision narrows the unresolved issues in the compact between the Commonwealth and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe," said Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.) "It was my hope that the Department of the Interior would have recognized that this compact was the product of painstaking negotiations between Governor Patrick, the Massachusetts legislature, and the Tribe. It also represented a balance of interest for all parties involved. With these issues now narrowed, I trust the Commonwealth and the Tribe will be able to move forward expeditiously on the unresolved provisions."