Monday, April 15, 2013
CA Lawmakers Will Decide fate of New Casinos/Reservation Shopping
The Obama administration has said they can do it.
Gov. Jerry Brown has given his blessing. OP: Of course, he knows he will get money from tribes.
Now it's up to the California Legislature to decide whether two Indian tribes in remote parts of the state can build casinos next to freeways many miles from their existing land.
A fresh wave of lobbying is hitting the state Capitol as the Enterprise Rancheria> near Marysville and the North Fork Rancheria near Fresno seek the Legislature's ratification of compacts they signed with Brown last year. Competing tribes that already own casinos are urging lawmakers to vote them down.
Both sides are seizing on the fact that almost half the Assembly consists of freshmen who may have little familiarity with the long-simmering fight.
"Now the challenge at hand is to make this thing understandable and real to 120 legislators," said Charles Banks-Altekruse, a spokesman for the two tribes seeking casinos.
"A good number of them are new and may be hearing conflicting information."
The casino proposals are more controversial than most because they involve out-of-state developers building on land the tribes are acquiring through a rarely used bureaucratic process known as a "two-part determination." Just a handful of tribes nationwide have been able to establish casinos that way.
North Fork, a band of Mono Indians, and Enterprise, part of the Maidu tribe, have each proposed building dozens of miles from the land they long occupied in the mountains east of the Central Valley.
Read more on the Casino shopping story here