Little progress reported on California compacts

Attempts to resolve a dispute over five California compacts appear to be slowing down, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians signed compacts to increase the number of slot machines at their facilities. They agreed to share revenues with the state.

Opposition from labor unions and Democratic lawmakers have prevented approval of the compacts. Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, a Democrat, has been trying to craft a deal to address labor and regulatory issues but he says he's only talking with the Pechanga Band, the San Manuel Band and the Sycuan Band.

As for the Agua Caliente Band and the Morongo Band, Torrico told the paper: "We just haven't made as much progress with them."

Rather than rewrite the compacts, the strategy right now is to enter into memorandum of agreements with the tribes and then have the Legislature ratify the MOAs to make them enforceable. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is open to the idea, a spokesperson said.

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Progress slows over compacts (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 6/15)