Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Education, gambling bills take center stage in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — Slots and tots will be on the minds of lawmakers Thursday as both chambers handle bills that will shape the future of the education system and gambling in the state.

The House is expected to vote on a number of education bills that have proven controversial. One ties teacher pay to student performance. Another would ask voters to scale back the constitutional class size amendment.

In addition, the House's select gaming committee will review the billion-dollar gambling deal negotiated between Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe. A Senate bill sponsored by Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, clarifies that the agreements in 2007 and 2009 between Crist and the tribe are null and void.

The agreement gives the tribe the exclusive right to house popular card games like blackjack and baccarat at five of its seven casinos. It also gives the tribe exclusive operation of Class III, Las Vegas-style slot machines at its four casinos outside Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The tribe in return will give the state $1 billion over five years, as well as 10 percent of its revenue for the 15 years that follow.

The chambers want to move quickly on ratifying the agreement, which was finalized on Friday, as the new influx of cash could help plug the $3.2 billion deficit the state is facing.

Another bill blazing through committees bans the sale of bongs and other drug paraphernalia in stores that do not have a license to sell tobacco. If approved in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, the bong bill would go to the Senate floor.

Education, gambling bills take center stage in Tallahassee 04/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 8, 2010 11:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hurricane watch issued as Tropical Depression Harvey sets aim on Texas coastline


    The system moving toward Texas has regenerated into Tropical Depression Harvey, prompting storm surge and hurricane watches on portions of the Lone Star State's coast, according to the National …

    [National Hurricane Center]
  2. Worker killed in Palm Harbor tractor accident


    PALM HARBOR — Authorities are investigating a tractor accident that left one person dead.

  3. Trump controversies continue to take toll on Mar-a-Lago


    President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club continues to lose business in light of his controversial remarks on race and violence.

  4. Taylor Swift ends intrigue, announces new album in November


    Yes, Taylor Swift fans, Wednesday was a lucky one for you.

    This cover image released by Big Machine shows art for her upcoming album, "reputation," expected Nov. 10.