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    Democratic leaders won't commit to timeline for legalization of video poker

    By: Scott Detrow

    Governor Rendell wants the General Assembly to legalize video poker in bars as quickly as possible, and utilize the tax revenue to provide tuition break for college students at select Pennsylvania colleges by next school year. But House Democratic leaders won’t commit to a speedy timeline, and aren’t saying whether they support the details of Rendell’s plan. WHYY’s Scott Detrow reports.

    By: Scott Detrow

    Governor Rendell wants the General Assembly to legalize video poker in bars as quickly as possible, and utilize the tax revenue to provide tuition break for college students at select Pennsylvania colleges by next school year. But House Democratic leaders won’t commit to a speedy timeline, and aren’t saying whether they support the details of Rendell’s plan. WHYY’s Scott Detrow reports.

    Transcript:
    Majority Leader Todd Eachus and House Speaker Keith McCall refuse to say whether they, or the majority of the Democratic caucus, wholeheartedly support Rendell’s plan to use video poker revenue to generate tuition breaks at community colleges and State System of Higher Education schools.

    Eachus says he likes the idea of providing financial aid, but wants to study the plan’s details.

    Eachus: “I mean there’s a lot of things to think about. How this system is structured.  How do we license the machines? Where do they go? How many go in the taverns, if that’s where they’re located? How much revenue gets created? So there’s a lot of important policy decisions that have to be made here.”

    Rendell wants lawmakers to pass the bill quickly, though actual legislation has yet to materialize.  McCall says when it does, it will go before the House Gaming Committee.  He says he expects a series of “extensive” public hearings on the matter before the issue is brought to a vote.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090309dems.mp3]

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