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California Senator Calls for Casino Vote

24 August 2005

CALIFORNIA – As reported by the Fresno Bee: "Sen. Dean Florez on Tuesday introduced what he called emergency legislation to require local public approval for off-reservation casinos, saying it will make Madera County the state's 'poster child' for tribal gaming reform.

"The bill was in response to the Madera County Board of Supervisors' vote last week in support of a $250 million resort casino west of Highway 99 at Avenue 17.

"Supervisors said that vote satisfies Gov. Schwarzenegger's requirement of community support before off-reservation casinos are approved. But Florez, D-Shafter, said the citizens, not their elected representatives, must be heard.

"…Senate Bill 1013 lists criteria for off-reservation casino plans to move forward — the local government and voters must support the project, and there must be a proven benefit to the community other than monetary gain. The bill forbids the Legislature from approving compacts with tribes that conduct gaming outside reservation boundaries without meeting the criteria.

"'Madera County is going to be the poster child for reform in terms of off-reservation gaming for every tribe in the state of California,' Florez said.

"After introducing the bill, Florez flew from Sacramento to Madera in a chartered plane, intending to begin a public discussion during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting…"

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