The legislative session will end in the state of Georgia by March and proponents of casino gambling for the state are hoping a casino gambling bill already introduced will move forward. The bill has yet to gain momentum and proponents would like to see the measure make it to the capitol by next week.
The issue of casino gaming has been marked as one of the biggest issues of this legislative session. While on the outside it seems the bill has not been able to gain momentum, this is not the case. The bill seems to be stalled due to the college scholarships of the state. Those in favor of casino gaming feel the revenue would create a surplus in the HOPE scholarship fund of the state. The question in the background of the measure is what to do with the surplus of funds.
Representative Ron Stephens, the sponsor of the bill, stated that the surplus would most likely be going towards a needs-based college scholarship for students with lower income in the state. Stephens stated that everyone seems to be focused on how to get the needs-based scholarship option rolled into the HOPE program, plus getting enough votes to see the measure passed.
According to Stephens, the outcome for the bill is also connected to a horse racing bill that has gained traction within the Capitol. This bill could be voted on by next week. Stephens feels that if this bill can move forward, then the casino gambling bill should follow quickly. For each measure, a two-third vote is required within legislature to be passed as an amendment to the state constitution.