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Arizona Governor Touts Benefits of Gaming

23 April 2002

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "A new dialysis treatment center for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

"Full-ride college scholarships for students from the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

"Funding for two-thirds of the police department on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"These are some of the benefits of Indian gaming touted to lawmakers by Gov. Jane Hull as she lobbies for passage of her Indian-gaming bill.

"The details were distributed Monday to lawmakers along with answers to 21 questions about Hull's gaming bill posed by Senate President Randall Gnant.

"…Gnant on Friday asked Hull to explain what Arizona's tribes have done with the money they've made so far from gaming. It was one of 22 questions he compiled after voting against her bill in the Senate Rules Committee, which killed the bill.

"Since then, Gnant has indicated he would switch his vote and allow the bill to proceed to a vote of the full 30-member Senate. The deal is designed to keep casino-style gambling on Arizona's Indian reservations while satisfying a federal judge's ruling that the current gaming framework is illegal.

"In her response to Gnant, Hull provided examples from three of Arizona's gaming tribes.

"…The governor's memo details benefits from gaming revenue for the Salt River tribe, which has its reservation near Scottsdale; the Tohono O'odham Nation, located in the Tucson area; and the Yavapai-Apache of Prescott.

"For example, the Tohono O'odhams say they have poured $15 million into health care services.

"…The Salt River community pointed to its investment in a $100 million water system to improve both purity and delivery. It also is putting $57 million into sewer construction.

"On the Yavapai-Apache Reservation, gaming revenues have made it possible for the tribe to buy out the casino- and hotel-management companies it had hired and turn the operations over to tribal members…"

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