Casino expansion vote in DE House cancelled
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
The State House of Representatives will not take up a bill that would authorize the addition of two new casinos in Delaware. Debate and a vote slated for today have been canceled.
House Bill 194, as amended by its sponsor, House majority leader Pete Schawartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach), would add two new venues to the three racinos the state already has at Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway.
Bill backers decided late Wednesday to cancel the vote when it became apparent they did not have the 21 votes needed to pass it. The absence of one confirmed "yes" vote, Representative Hazel Plant (D-Wilmington Central) forced Rep. Schwartzkopf to wait.
"One of my 'yes' votes is very ill and had been in the hospital. She was supposed to be out of the hospital a couple of days ago and she's not out yet," said Schwartkopf, referring to Plant who who recently underwent heart surgery. "She desperately wants to come down her and vote for this bill . It impacts her city (Wilmington). She wants to take a vote for the betterment of her city and to put people to work in the city and to get a revenue stream for the city of Wilmington."
Representative Schwartzkopf believes he could have passed the bill, if Representative Plant had been available. Now, it will have to wait until after the General Assembly's two week Easter break.
"We're not in a different place than we were before," added Schwartzkopf. "The bill is still laying on the Speaker's table. We can run it at any point in time. My job is to keep my votes together until we get back and hopefully the representative from upstate is feeling better and will be here with us."