SF 2950 fails to pass out of committee

17 March 2010

SF 2950, a bill that would have authorized privately owned racinos at Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Track, failed to pass out of a key Minnesota Senate committee last Wednesday after the bill’s author, Senator Dan Sparks, asked committee members to table the measure instead of proceeding to a vote.

In closing comments, Sparks acknowledged that he didn’t have the votes needed to pass the bill.

No further committee hearings are expected on any of the gambling expansion bills currently before the legislature, but any of the proposals could resurface as amendments to bills on the Senate or House floors later in the session.

Another racino bill was heard earlier in the House Committee on Local Government, but no vote was taken.

MIGA Executive Director John McCarthy said the association is not taking anything for granted, even though no gambling bills were passed out of committees in either chamber.

“The racino forces aren’t going to go away just because their bills didn’t get committee support,” McCarthy said. “They’ll attach a racino amendment to some other bill to get it on the floor for debate. We’re prepared for that.”

Expansion opponents who have joined the MIGA Action Network will receive email alerts when their help is needed, McCarthy said.

“We’re very grateful for the involvement of our Action Network,” McCarthy said. “There’s no doubt that they are making a difference by making their voices heard.”