The President of the Ohio Senate is urging Democratic Governor Ted Strickland to release an executive order allowing the installation of slot machines at the Ohio’s horse racing tracks rather than placing the expanded gaming proposal before the Ohio legislature.
Senate President Bill Harris (Republican-Ashland) said on June 24th, 2009 that Gov. Strickland should implement his slots proposal the same way he did when the state lottery improved its gaming offerings to include the game of keno last year. Harris said that he thinks that the governor has the authority to do that without any additional changes to state law. Governor Ted Strickland previously said that permitting the installation of slot machines at the state’s horse racing tracks would give the state an estimated $765 million over the next two years.
The governor added that he wanted the gaming action to be finalized through legislative action. But Harris said that the slots proposal appear not to enjoy a lot of support among the Senate Republicans. Harris stated that personally, he is not in favor of a state gaming expansion without consent from the state voters. He added that he had expressed his concerns to the governor and he continues to have those concerns.
Harris said that he thinks that most of their members would decide to put the slots issue on the ballot and let the state voters decided on the issue. Harris thinks that it would be simple to convince majority of their members to decide on the proposal without it being place on the ballot.