Missouri Legislative Report
Evelio Silvera, Executive Director
April 7-11, 2008

With bills in the House and Senate as well as an election night, this week turned out to be busy but rewarding. The House of Representatives continued dealing with a variety of gambling-related bills, most notably HB1929 which would remove the power to fine casinos away from the Gaming Commissioners and place it solely in the hands of the Executive Director of the Gaming Commission. We oppose this bill because it would remove the public hearing process and replace it with a system that lacks accountability and true due process. We met with several State Representatives to educate them on the problems with HB1929, encouraging them to vote NO when the bill comes up for a final vote.

Unlike the House, the Missouri Senate continues to have SB1052 which would remove the loss limit on it’s informal perfection calendar, meaning that this bill could come up for debate and a vote at any time. We met with a handful of Senators to arm them with the facts and research necessary to protect the loss limit.

We distributed copies of our latest Casino Watch Policy Briefs to all the members of the General Assembly, both House and Senate. Our Policy Briefs this week dealt with the Loss Limit and its effect on problem gambling and law enforcement.

Of course this past Tuesday voters in Jefferson City overwhelming defeated two measures that would have allowed casino gambling in Missouri’s State Capital. It was quite the celebration in Jefferson City as the final vote tally saw 62% of voters reject casino gambling. We are proud to have worked with Citizens Supporting Integrity on this successful campaign.

NEXT WEEK: The Missouri Gaming Commission will be meeting and we will continue working to defeat HB1929 and SB1052.

Bills currently being worked on:

SB988 Exempts Veterans, service, and fraternal organizations from bingo and pull tab taxes
SB1052 Loss Limit Removal
SB1171 Places a 2 year moratorium on casino licenses
HB1929 Empowers Gaming Commission Executive Director to levy fines
HB2420 Places a 3 year moratorium on casino licenses
HB1813 Tax Exemption For Bingo
HB1864 Gambling Boat Bank Deposits
HB1929 Excursion Gambling Boat Licensees
HB1357 Criminal Nonsupport
HB2043 Loss Limit Removal
HB1402 Compulsive Gamblers
HB1403 Excursion Gambling Boats
HB1682 Loss Limit Removal