February 25, 2009
AUSTIN - The influential House Appropriations Chair Jim Pitts filed a new bill Tuesday to legalize 12 destination casinos, reopening of two Texas Indian casinos, and slot machines at racetracks. The tax revenues generated from the bill would allocate $1 billion a year to college scholarships for high-performing students and an additional billion to state transportation projects.
The bill was filed by a strong, bipartisan team of Pitts, Rep. Jose Menendez, Sen. John Carona and Sen. Rodney Ellis. It would amend the state constitution and require a two-thirds vote of both the House and the Senate followed by a ballot measure for approval by Texas voters.
Recent surveys indicate the public would overwhelmingly vote for it. For instance, the Texas Gaming Association poll shows 68 percent of Texans would vote FOR a constitutional amendment that allows a "limited number of destination resort casinos."
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