California Deal Clears Senate
As reported by the Press Enterprise: "A deal allowing an Inland tribe to operate 5,000 slot machines narrowly survived a challenge by some Democrats and labor unions Monday, clearing the state Senate by just one more vote than needed. "The measure now goes to the Assembly, where its fate is uncertain. The close vote has given one labor leader hope that the measure can be defeated. Supporters, meanwhile, believe the economic benefits to the state and local communities will be enough to sway a majority of Assembly members. ".Gov. Schwarzenegger crafted the agreement with the tribe earlier this month and is expected to sign it if it reaches his desk. The U.S. Interior Department must approve the agreement after that. "With tribal leaders watching legislators closely from the Senate gallery, supporters of the agreement struggled to get the votes they needed Monday afternoon. After an initial vote in the state Senate failed by three votes, backers of the bill rounded up enough to pass it 22-7 about 20 minutes later. ".The agreement, known as a compact, calls for allowing the Agua Caliente Band add a third casino and 3,000 more slot machines, for a total of 5,000. In exchange, the tribe has agreed to pay the state an estimated $1.83 billion through 2030."