California passing tribal-gaming expansion
Californians voted Tuesday on proposals that would expand tribal gambling and alter some of the nation's toughest legislative term limits...
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Californians voted Tuesday on proposals that would expand tribal gambling and alter some of the nation's toughest legislative term limits.
Voters also rejected a bid to change the state's complex education-funding law to benefit the country's largest community-college system.
The gambling measures would clear the way for the state's largest casino-operating tribes to add 17,000 new slot machines to a gambling industry that is already second only to Nevada's. In early returns, each of the four measures was winning.
Voters were asked to affirm deals Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers struck last year with four wealthy Southern California Indian tribes. In exchange for the rights to add the slot machines, the tribes would share hundreds of millions of dollars in casino winnings annually with the cash-strapped state.
The deals would not have required voter approval, but a coalition of two other gambling-rich tribes, a horse-track owner and a casino-workers union gathered nearly 1 million signatures to force the measures onto the ballot.
The term-limit measure would shorten from 14 years to 12 years the time most lawmakers could serve. But it also would grandfather in about one-third of the state's sitting lawmakers, allowing them to serve more than 14 years.
In early returns, it losing by a small margin.
Voters rejected a proposition that would have dedicated money to California community colleges and significantly reduced course fees. It included no dedicated revenue source and came as the state faced its largest budget deficit since the dot-com bust.
In San Francisco, a proposal to turn Alcatraz into a global peace center appeared to be losing in early returns.
The measure was not legally binding.
In Riverside, a ballot measure sought to curb round-the-clock rooster crowing by capping the number of birds residents can own in rural areas. The proposal would limit residents of certain areas to seven roosters, instead of the 50 birds now allowed.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
NEW - 07:13 AM
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is writing memoir
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.