Maryland House Panel Shoots Down Governor's Slot Machine Proposal

Newman, Emily
April 2003
Bond Buyer;4/4/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31608, p29
Trade Publication
The House Ways and Means Committee rejected Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s proposal— which would have installed 11,500 slot machines at four Maryland racetracks, with proceeds going to both track owners and the governor's education initiatives— by a 16-to-5 vote that followed a session of political discussion. After months of revising and defending his slots proposal both to track owners, who wanted a larger share of the revenue, and lawmakers, the governor and legislature now must look elsewhere for revenue to help plug a budgetary hole. The slots bill, which Ehrlich's administration said could have generated $700 million to help fund a $1.2 billion increase in school aid approved in 2002, was passed by the Senate but only after its revenue estimates were scaled back. The stripped form of the bill increased education's share of slot profits and pared down track owners' share, but also cut slot licensing fees paid by track owners, which Ehrlich had already reduced by $230 million.


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