Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law   712.224.5420

Compacts | Opinion
Editorial: Ratify gaming compacts in Florida

"Should Gov. Charlie Crist have unilateral authority to sign a compact with an Indian tribe or another state?

No. The Florida Legislature is the policy-making branch of state government. The governor may negotiate a compact, but lawmakers should have the authority to ratify it.

Such is the philosphical basis of Senate Bill 1284, which recently passed the Senate Business Regulation Committee but then languished in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would allow Crist "to negotiate and execute compacts and agreements," but also stipulates the governor secure "ratification of compacts and agreements by the Legislature."

The "compact" issue has been hotly debated in Tallahassee for more than a year. It boiled over in the fall when Crist bypassed lawmakers and negotiated a closed-door deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to expand gaming. The Legislature — rightfully so — filed a lawsuit challenging the governor's authority to execute this agreement."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Rein in Gov. Charlie Crist by passing law requiring ratification (The Vero Beach Press-Journal 4/30)