Who wins when the House and Senate conveniently lock up over funding the budget and a special session is necessary? Not the public schools. This Legislature will never be generous in its spending. Not health and human services agencies, for the same reason. The big winner is … gambling. The racetracks. Assuming that there is a special session, the likelihood is that an impasse will be reached over additional funding and lawmakers will be looking for a new infusion of cash. It’s not going to be taxes. It’s not going to be fees, It’s not going to be eliminating tax exemptions, it’s not going to be the Rainy Day Fund. Been there, can’t do that. No, the only potential source of steady income that has not been considered is gaming. The conspiracy theory is that everything up to now has been orchestrated to look like the pro-gambling forces are weak and bumbling–e.g., Tuffy Hamilton’s ham-handed attempt to move the gambling bill out of committee. To take the conspiracy theory one step further, the pro-gambling forces will have to arrange things so that the gambling legislation would be statutory, not constitutional, allowing gambling to pass by majority vote. (Don’t ask me how they are going to arrange this. I’m just passing on the paranoia.) Naturally, Perry, Dewhurst, and Straus will have to be complicit in the conspiracy, and Strauss will have to be MIA at the Belmont or some other distant venue when it comes to pass. Then, at the last moment, the tracks will dump the casinos and the racetracks will get everything they want. You heard it here first.
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