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NPT Capitol: Final push for gambling bill in the Texas House

State Rep. Norma Chavez told NPT Saturday that a constitutional amendment proposal was voted out of the licensing committee today.

The bill, HJR 137 was authored by Licensing Chair Ed Kuempel, R-Seguin. Drafts have been circulating all week and the final revision takes language from other gambling bills, most importantly for El Paso, including Chavez’s language authorizing the Tigua Indians to re-open Speaking Rock Casino.

The bill needs 100 votes to clear the House before undoubtedly hitting stormy weather in the Senate.

Last vote count NPT heard in the House: 87

Read the rest the whole text of the HJR after the jump.

–Ben Wright

By: ____________________ __.J.R. No. _____
Substitute the following for __.J.R. No. _____:
By: ____________________ C.S.__.J.R. No. _____

proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to legalize and regulate the conduct of gaming in this state in counties that by local option election approve the conduct of that gaming and authorizing the conduct of gaming by certain Indian tribes.
SECTION 1. Section 47, Article III, Texas Constitution, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j) to read as follows:
(a) The Legislature shall pass laws prohibiting lotteries and gift enterprises in this State other than those authorized by Subsections (b), (d), [and] (e), (f), (g), (h), and (i) of this section.
(f) The Legislature may by general law authorize and regulate the conduct of one or more types of gaming involving wagering in this State and may make such a general law contingent on approval by the voters at a statewide referendum. A law enacted under this subsection may limit the locations in which certain types of gaming may be conducted to coastal barrier islands at least 25 miles in length that are accessible by bridges, to dredge spoil islands at least 18 miles in length located in coastal counties, and to populous metropolitan areas of this State, designated by the county or counties in which the island or metropolitan area is located. A law enacted under this subsection must require that, before any type of gaming not otherwise permitted by law to be conducted in a particular county may be conducted in that county, an election must be held to allow the qualified voters of the county to determine by a majority vote whether that type of gaming may be legally conducted in the county.
(g) The Legislature may provide by general law for the dedication of portions of gaming revenue authorized by this section and received by the State or a local government for higher education, transportation, or children’s health insurance program purposes.
(h) A federally recognized Indian tribe is authorized to conduct gaming on tribal land of the tribe in this State that was held in trust by the United States on January 1, 2009, and that is located in Polk County or El Paso County.
(i) If, after January 1, 2009, any person, organization, or entity is permitted by the law of this State to offer gaming involving wagering within 200 miles of any part of the reservation of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas located near Eagle Pass, Texas, the tribe is permitted, at a location selected by the tribe that is within 150 miles of any part of the reservation but not within 30 miles of any horse or greyhound racetrack licensed for pari-mutuel wagering that was in operation on September 1, 2009, to offer the same number of games or gaming devices involving wagering as any other person or entity authorized by the law of this State. The gaming authorized under this subsection shall be regulated by the tribe and the secretary of state. The secretary of state may not adopt regulations that are more restrictive than the regulations applicable to other comparable gaming licensed by the State. The tribe each month shall transfer to the State in a manner determined by the comptroller a percentage of the tribe’s gaming receipts, which may not exceed the percentage of receipts other persons authorized to operate comparable gaming or gaming devices must transfer to the State.
(j) A statewide referendum described by Subsection (f) of this section that is held on the same day as the election on the approval of the constitutional amendment to add Subsection (f) to this section is hereby validated. This subsection expires January 1, 2011.
SECTION 2. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 3, 2009. The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to legalize and regulate the conduct of gaming in this state in counties that by local option election approve the conduct of that gaming and authorizing the conduct of gaming by certain Indian tribes.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 2, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. wow…really helpful post, thanks for sharing.

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    May 3, 2009 at 2:56 am

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