Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Women's health care bill falls short in House

Connecticut State Capitol  Wikimedia Commons Connecticut State Capitol Wikimedia Commons
Theresa Hayes | 09 June, 2017, 03:26

Lawmakers have said they needed one more vote to pass the bill allowing the Department of Transportation to study where to locate electronic toll gantries.

However, lawmakers still cheered the session as a success.

By a vote of 103-46, the House passed Senate Bill 957, which would designate MMCT Venture LLC, a company jointly held by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians, to run the proposed casino in East Windsor. The two tribes already operate casinos on tribal land in southeastern CT.

The Connecticut House has approved a bill that was crafted to garner more support for another bill authorizing a tribal casino in East Windsor.

Senate Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano says if those elements are all included in a final budget, then no Republicans would support the spending proposal.

The same bill also creates a new entertainment sharing agreement between the tribes - owners and operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun - and entertainment arenas across CT with 5,000 or more seats.

The legislature's non-partisan analysts declined to predict what impact the new casino might have on state revenues. It authorizes six more off-track-betting facilities in the state, establishes an advisory council to coordinate bookings at certain entertainment venues and requires the commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection to adopt regulations for sports betting, which now is banned by state and federal law.

Under the bill, an Advisory Council on Large Entertainment Venues would be established to coordinate events at facilities with seating capacities of more than 5,000 people and "address other issues related to operating such facilities".

Aresimowicz says the bill allows Sportech to have eight more off-track betting licenses, for a total of 24 locations.

"We're willing to talk about budgets but they've got to be real budgets and we're willing to talk about ideas but we're not going to sell our souls to fill our coffers", he said.

CT lawmakers have wrapped up what's been a challenging legislative session.

The Connecticut House of Representatives seems no nearer to a conclusion on expanding gambling in the state, and House Speaker Democrat Joe Aresimowicz said he doesn't see the issue making it to a special session. He said there are plans for multiple meetings with rank-and-file lawmakers, committee leadership and others.

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