GOP wants special session
to consider slot measures

Sep 12, 2006 4:29 AM

Republican lawmakers demanded Saturday that the Legislature reconvene to reconsider Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s efforts to give Indian casinos in California nearly 20,000 new slot machines.

The deals, given to the Legislature in the waning hours of the session last month, were rejected by Democratic leaders of both houses, who said more study is needed before a legislative vote.

But in a letter to Democratic leaders of the Senate and Assembly, Senate GOP leader Dick Ackerman and Assembly GOP leader George Plescia said the compacts "are too important to our state’s economic well-being and the prosperity of communities across California to wait until the Legislature reconvenes (next year)."

The GOP leaders said they also want to address woes afflicting California’s horse-racing industry.

A spokesman for Schwarzenegger, who also has the power to reconvene lawmakers, said Saturday the governor has ruled nothing out.

Administration spokesman Darrel Ng declined to comment on the letter but said Schwarzenegger wants the half-dozen compacts signed as soon as possible. "Should the governor decide to recall the Legislature, he will make an announcement," Ng said.

The governor had hoped the pacts would allow him to tout their boost to government revenue during his gubernatorial campaign against Democratic challenger Phil Angelides.

But the deals were blocked by Democratic majority leaders, who refused to act without more in-depth scrutiny.