Wednesday, 08 August 2007 01:42

Ballot Initiatives Announced To Overturn 4 Tribal Gaming Compacts Negotiated By Governor

Proponents of no less than four separate ballot measures dealing with Indian gaming will begin hitting the streets after Secretary of State Debra Bowen cleared the way for circulation and signature collection this week. All four are directed at four gaming compacts recently signed by Governor Schwarzenegger and each ballot initiative deals with each compact separately.
The four compacts include the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The 23-year agreements permit Pechanga and Morongo to operate up to 7,500 slot machines each. Sycuan and Agua Caliente, could have 5,000 slots each. All four tribes are now limited to 2,000 slots. In return, the tribes agreed to give the state 15 percent of gross winnings on all new machines up to 5,000; 25 percent on machines above that. The issue driving the ballot measures?  The four tribes refusals to accept enhanced collective bargaining terms which Schwarzenegger secured in many of his earlier compacts. To qualify a referendum for the ballot, the proponent must submit petition signatures of 433,971 registered voters to county elections officials within 90 days from the date the bill is enacted. Senate Bill 957 (Torlakson), Chapter 41, Statutes of 2007, was enacted on July 10, 2007. The proponent has until October 8, 2007 to submit petition signatures.