The Connecticut state Planning and Development Committee endorsed Senate Bill 1090 by a vote of 18 to 9 Monday. A “Joint Favorable Report” was entered into the public record on April 22nd. Before arriving at the planning committee it was also passed by the Public Safety and Security Committee. The bill is going to be presented before the state Senate; however, the date of the senate meeting for the bill is not known. The Raised S.B. No. 1090 is expected to be revised before the senate vote. Senator Cathy Osten stated there is a lot of work that needs to happen before the bill can be passed. Her district covers area around the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut.
The bill would allow the state to enter into a mutual deal with the two tribes. The tribes want to open three new casinos. Bill 1090 will have a revenue sharing plan, but not under the Class III gaming compact. The state and tribes do not want the new facilities to be under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, but rather to let the tribes operate as regular businesses in this endeavor.
Examining the legality of the deal is Attorney General George Jepsen. He said the bill does have some legal issues, but they can be addressed by the state without disrupting the Class III gaming rights and without bringing in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This seems to be an expansion of his earlier warning of April 15 about potential lawsuits and constitutional issues related to passing the bill.
Both Chairman Butler and Brown of the Mashantucket and Mohegan Tribes, respectively, stated the “government to government partnership” is strong and beneficial. Both feel the committee will vote to allow three new casinos.