Vindicator Logo

Pa. Gov. Rendell steps in on gambling bill

Saturday, January 31, 2004

HARRISBURG (AP) -- Gov. Ed Rendell said his administration would combine elements of several stalled gambling bills into a single bill and use the revenue from legalizing slot machines to slash property taxes, fatten horse-racing purses and finance construction projects. Although separate bills to legalize slots have passed the House and Senate, squabbling lawmakers have been unable to reach a compromise on a plan that would distribute gambling revenue to 500 school districts to cut property taxes and to Philadelphia to cut the city's wage tax. The slot machine proposal was the centerpiece of Rendell's 2002 election campaign, but Rendell said Tuesday that he waited until now to move in hopes that lawmakers who had promptly introduced bills last spring could reach agreement. With lawmakers dug in on several issues, Rendell said he hoped his proposal would help reach an agreement that could pass both houses by the end of February.