Concerns about a Senate gaming bill will lead to nearly a half dozen amendments from Baltimore City delegates.
"Did they think we weren't going to read the bill?" said Del. Curt Anderson, chairman of the Baltimore City delegation to the House of Delegates.
Anderson made his comments during and after a one-hour meeting with city legislators on the version of the Senate bill that seeks to expand gambling in Maryland.
Anderson said he spent the weekend reading the bill looking for "dirty tricks."
"I found several," Anderson said.
The Senate passed its bill Friday night and will not reconvene until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Any changes made by the House would have to be approved by the Senate.
Five provisions of the Senate bill have caused concern among city legislators:
- A requirement that the city spend its share of local gaming proceeds from table games on school construction.
- Language that ends minority and women business enterprise requirements in July of 2018.
- Language that allows a casino in Prince George's County to open its doors by July 1, 2016 or in 30 months, which ever comes first, after the opening of a city casino.
- The ability of a facility located in Prince George County to receive a temporary table gaming license upon the awarding of a state license.
The delegation unanimously voted to support an amendment that would split the city's share of table game revenue equally between school construction and recreation and parks programs.
A lobbyist for the city said the jurisdiction could borrow as much as $25 million for both school construction and recreation and parks projects based on the expectation that the city will receive an additional $5 million annually.
"It's not going to make us vote for the bill but we're not going to vote for it without [the amendment]," said Anderson.
Anderson said other amendments would have to be drawn up and delivered to the House Ways and Means Committee before a final vote is taken in the House of Delegates.