Connecticut, tribes sue feds over stalled action on compact

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HARTFORD — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state and two federally recognized tribes are suing the federal government for failing to act on compact changes needed before a new casino can be built to compete with the MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Malloy announced Wednesday the lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Department of Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke by the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

Because the federal agency did not act on the compact amendments Malloy reached with the tribes within 45 days of their submission, as required, the lawsuit claims the amendments should now be deemed as having been approved.

A request for comment from the Department of Interior was referred to the Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond.

State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) issued the following statement regarding Governor Malloy’s announcement:

“This is good news for eastern Connecticut, because there are more than 10,000 jobs in the region hanging in the balance with this federal decision. We passed a bipartisan bill nearly six months ago to defend ourselves against an outside effort to destroy jobs and decimate one of the most important industries in our state. The federal government is now long past its deadline to act on the agreements that the representatives of the people of Connecticut have deemed vital to the health and prosperity of our state. I applaud the governor and tribes for their action today on behalf of the people of Connecticut and our best interests.”