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Deadline Looms for Gaming Agreement

May 5th, 2009 by flanews

Lawmakers will meet at six oclock tonight in an effort to reach an agreement on the Seminole Gaming Compact. If the House and Senate cant reach an agreement a special session could be called or as Whitney Ray tells us, the federal government could allow the tribe to expand gambling and Florida would miss out on millions.

State lawmakers are gambling with a compact that could expand gaming at Seminole Tribe Casinos. Half a billion dollars is on the line, and extended session ends Friday.

House leaders want to limit the gaming expansion… even suggesting the tribe should stop BlackJack at most of its casinos. The Senate plan is more liberal.

The Senate version would bring in millions more than the House plan. The differences between the two proposals was keeping legislative leaders from reaching a budget agreement

Money from the compact was supposed to be spent on schools in next years budget. Now lawmakers want to stick the money into savings.

Removing the money from the budget talks signals the negotiations could drag on. House Gaming Chairman Bill Galvano said there are still a lot of details to work out.

Theres a lot of meat left on this bone, but at least we are here this morning, were resuming talks and I remain optimistic, said Galvano.

Senate Budget Chair JD Alexander is pushing to make the Friday deadline.

I think this is something we need to come to terms with and come up with a policy, said Alexander.

Governor Charlie Crist says if the legislature doesnt act, the federal government will and Florida would get nothing.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Education, Gambling, Legislature, State Budget, State News | No Comments »

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