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California casino foes expected to push for vote

12 July 2007

SACRAMENTO, California -- As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune: "With little to symbolize the magnitude of the moment, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday signed legislation ratifying Indian gambling agreements that would open the door to the next big wave of casino expansion in Southern California.

"The separate bills do not take effect until Jan. 1, but their final processing in the next day or two will start the clock on a 90-day window for opponents to collect signatures needed to put the multibillion-dollar deals to a statewide vote.

"Labor unions angry that they did not get the enhanced collective bargaining language they wanted in the agreements have been in talks with other special interests that might join them in a drive to qualify referendums on the ratification measures.

"...A representative of two of the major horse racetracks said they also are pondering a referenda push.

"...To qualify a ballot measure to overturn state legislation requires nearly 434,000 signatures. The vote would be held in conjunction with the Feb. 5 presidential primary election.

"Because the big compacts were ratified in four separate bills, opponents would have to collect 434,000 valid signatures to qualify a referendum for each, Gribbon and others confirmed..."

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