CHAIRPERSON JAMES: I'd like to introduce our distinguished panel of experts now. And I understand that with travel schedules and other commitments that we may have to reorder how some of the panelists are representing. I will introduce the entire panel, and then we'll take a look at who in fact is going to go first.

Edith Prague. Edith, thank you for being here. She is a distinguished member of the Connecticut State Senate since 1995. Please come on up and join us at the table.

Senator Prague chairs the Select Committee on the Aging and the Labor and Public Employees Committee. And from 1983 to 1990 she served in the Connecticut General Assembly as State Representative from the Eighth District.

Douglas Wilkins. Is Mr. Wilkins in the room? Mr. Wilkins is the First Assistant Attorney General for the State of Massachusetts. He has handled matters relating to tribal plans for gambling in Massachusetts. And has been involved in Native American gaming matters in other jurisdictions, including the federal litigation between the State of Rhode Island and the Narragansett Tribe.

Joseph P. Kalt. Is he here? Is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He's also the co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. And co-author of What Can Tribes Do? Strategies and Institutions in American Indian Economic Development. Thank you for being here.

Tadd Johnson. Tadd is the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission. Before his appointment in 1997, Mr. Johnson was an attorney in private practice specializing in negotiating self-governance agreements for Indian tribes. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Beverly Wright. Is Beverly Wright here?

Beverly has served as chairperson of the Wampanoag Tribal Council for the last four years. And served on the Council for 12 years before being elected chairperson. She is the Vice President of the United South and Eastern Tribes and a member of the National Congress of American Indians. And I understand that you have a flight to catch and need to be moved up on the agenda?

MS. WRIGHT: I live on an island, so --.

CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, we certainly want to accommodate that.

And we'll be joined later by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. And I will ask the staff to please escort him to the table upon his arrival.

I'll again mention that any of our panelists, I would encourage you to summarize your prepared testimony in order to allow for additional for questions and answers. And to assure you that your full testimony will be entered into the record. And I'd also take the opportunity to again inform each panelist that under the Supplemental Rules of the Commission testimony for the Commission shall be considered to be conducted under oath.

The Commission may question witnesses and according to our Supplemental Rules if anyone is ever interested in being represented by counsel, of course they may be.

I'm going to start with Senator Prague and then, I'll go right down the line after that. And again, welcome to each and every one of you and we look forward to hearing from you.

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