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Lobbyist Money Help  

Higher Boarding Fees at Gaming Boats for Education

March 12, 2002
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

Higer fees for businesses and increased gaming boat boarding fees get first round approval from the House as lawmakers look for money to fund education.

Missy Shelton reports.

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It's part of a plan from the governor to generate 175 million dollars in additional revenue for public education.

The bill targets gaming boats with a one dollar increase on the boarding fee and higher taxes on gaming boat receipts.

Two suburban St Louis lawmakers sparred over the issue.

Republican Jon Dolan challenged the bill sponsor Jim Foley, saying Foley is unfairly going after businesses.

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Dolan opposes gaming but says it's unfair to target the gaming industry, forcing them to bear the responsibility of funding education in tight economic times...But Foley says he's okay with putting that burden on casinos.

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Supporters of the education funding proposal say there aren't any other options.

Mid-Missouri Representative Chuck Graham says the money needed to fund education is unlikely to come through further budget cuts.

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The bill did not include all the money-generating provisions the governor proposed...For example, it did not include a section repealing the 500 dollar loss limit at casinos.

The House gave first round approval to the education funding bill by a vote of 83 to 59.

The bill faces a final vote in the House...If approved it would move to the Senate for debate.

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