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State House Sues to Stop Tribal Pact

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November 19, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida House of Representatives petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to stop the implementation of Gov. Crist's gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida without legislative approval.

The U.S. Interior Department had set a deadline of November 15th for Florida to sign a compact with the Seminoles, or federal law would entitle the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes to install slot machines without paying state taxes. The Interior Department will review the compact by December 28th.

In their petition, the Houses identified five similar cases where other state legislatures had filed suits with their state supreme courts and the courts ruled "a governor may not unilaterally bind a state to a gaming compact" with Indian tribes.

State Senate President Ken Pruitt is reviewing the compact, but has not announced whether the senate will file a similar lawsuit.

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