Thursday, January 29, 2009

Senator Dianne Feinstein to Prevent Expansion by Lytton Band

A good start Senator. NOW, let's go after those tribes that are denying their members basic civil and human rights and put some teeth into the Indian Civil Rights Act.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Wednesday that she has drafted legislation that would prevent the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians from expanding Casino San Pablo.

In 2004, the Lytton tribe proposed to expand the 70,000 Class II facility that now offers low-stakes card games and electronic bingo into a 600,000 square foot Class III casino with 5,000 slot machines, according to Feinstein.

Under a loophole in federal law, the tribe could have pursued their plans to expand the casino without going through the regular oversight process, which requires gubernatorial and federal approval, Feinstein reported.

The loophole, which was in the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act passed in 2000, specifically allowed the Lytton tribe's purchase of a nine-acre parcel in San Pablo in 2000 to be backdated to October 17, 1988.

Backdating the land purchase could allow the tribe to circumvent the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed Oct. 17, 1988.

According to Feinstein's office, the Lytton tribe ran into roadblocks and dropped its plans to expand the casino, but current law still doesn't prevent them from attempting the process in the future.

The proposed legislation would strike the loophole from the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act, prevent future expansion of the casino and prevent the Lytton Band from engaging in Class III gaming unless it completes the state and federal approval process.
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