Gambling bill negotiations stall

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Josh Hafenbrack of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel <a href="http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/dcblog/2009/04/on_gambling_no_deal_in_sight.html">writes</a> that the gambling negotiations between the Florida House and Florida Senate have slowed to a crawl, and he says it now seems unlikely that the chambers will be able to agree on compact for the Seminole Tribe by Friday’s scheduled end of this year’s session.

Sen. Dennis Jones, who leads gambling negotiations for the Senate, and Rep. Bill Galvano, who leads them in the House, haven’t spoken to each other since last week, Hafenbrack writes.

A Seminole compact is tied to many, if not all, of the bills that would loosen restrictions on poker in Florida. Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe are pushing a new proposal that would accelerate the tribe’s payments to the state, but the idea doesn’t have the support of either chamber because it doesn’t include enough to protect the parimutuel industry.

Many lawmakers are predicting, however, that this year’s session will be extended past Friday, as a state budget bill also hasn’t been agreed on.