LANSING, Mich., Feb. 26, 2021 — State Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon) criticized House Republicans today for their attempt to deprive Muskegon County of new jobs and economic investment in the community after state Rep. Roger Hauk (R-Union Twp.) introduced House Resolution 42, which urges Gov. Whitmer to oppose off-reservation Indian Casinos. The resolution comes as a seemingly direct shot at the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians as they continue with their decade-long efforts to develop a casino on the site of an abandoned Fruitport Township racetrack.

“Legislative Republicans will claim to be all about free market economics in one breath, then pull a stunt like this in the next,” said Sabo. “This is just another disheartening example of the majority party serving as the mouthpiece for their wealthy special interest benefactors at the expense of everyday, hardworking west Michigan residents. The proposed casino expansion would provide Muskegon County with a much-needed economic boost, bringing millions in tourism dollars to the area while creating thousands of new jobs. It is unfortunate that some of my colleagues across the aisle are willing to deny our community this opportunity in order to satisfy just a few of their campaign donors. On top of it all, House Republicans chose to sneak this resolution onto the agenda yesterday instead of allowing the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians the opportunity to present their side with committee testimony, or otherwise appropriate legislative process.”

The proposed Muskegon County Casino is projected to bring as many as 3,000 jobs to the area, provide an influx of tourism revenue to the surrounding areas and generate an estimated $15 million in state tax revenue. Hauk’s Mt. Pleasant-based district includes Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, the second largest casino in Michigan.