California Democrats sponsor bills for compacts

Top Democratic lawmakers in California will sponsor bills to ratify the gaming compacts for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians

The tribes signed agreemeents with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to add more slot machines to their casinos in exchange for a share of the revenues. But the deals fell apart last year when Democrats, acting at the behest of labor unions, objected.

The tribes are hoping to win approval this year. With Democrats as sponsors, the bills could have a greater chance of passing.

Today is the last day to introduce legislation. The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, the Yurok Tribe, the Big Lagoon Rancheria and the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians have compacts pending.

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Tribes get powerful backing (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 2/23)