TOPEKA - Today on a voice vote, Kansas House Republicans advanced House Bill 2107, which will impose several new regulations on sexually oriented businesses.
“Kansans are suffering and Republicans have complete control over every facet of state government,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis (D-Lawrence). “Instead of creating new jobs, extreme Republicans are playing morality police. This is not what we were sent here to do – especially in the middle of an economic crisis.”
Rep. Doug Gatewood (D-Columbus) offered an amendment to the bill in attempt to give it economic substance. The Gatewood amendment would have made destination casino and casino-gaming at race tracks in Southeast Kansas more attractive to business investment by making the following changes to current law:
- Lowering the minimum investment in casinos for southeast Kansas from $225 million to $100 million;
- Reducing the privilege fee from $25 million to $11 million; and
- Reducing the rate that race track management fee pays to the state from 40 percent to 22 percent.
“This amendment would make a more attractive atmosphere for businesses to invest in the infrastructure that already exists in southeast Kansas,” Gatewood said. “I’ve tried to advance this for three years and it continues to get bottled up in committee. I offered it as an amendment to try and at least give the full House body an opportunity to consider this important issue.”
The amendment was ruled not germane to the original bill. Rep. Bob Grant (D-Cherokee), challenged the ruling in an effort to give this issue a full debate. Grant’s motion failed by a vote of 84-34.
“People need jobs,” said Bob Grant (D-Cherokee). “The original bill definitely didn’t give them that, but this amendment would have. The southeast Kansas economy has been hit hard by the national recession and we need to do something to stimulate economic growth. It’s very disappointing that Republicans were so determined to stifle debate over a proposal that has the potential to re-energize an entire region of our state.”
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