Georgia Gambling Debate Intensifies, Two Legislative Conferences Scheduled

Georgia<span id="more-5618"></span> Gambling Debate Intensifies, Two Legislative Conferences Scheduled

State Senator Brandon Beach, along with the committee he chairs, has been tasked with analyzing the potential of Georgia gambling as it relates to funding higher education.

Georgia gambling might quickly make its way out of prohibition and casinos could be welcomed to the Peach State, as lawmakers confirmed two hearings are slated for mid-September to go over the merit of funding its HOPE Scholarship Program through gaming profits.

The State Senate’s Preservation of the HOPE Scholarship Program Study Committee will hold back-to-back conferences on September 14th and 15th to debate whether legalizing gambling, including likely horse racing, would benefit higher education programs without negative social impacts.

The newly formed committee is made to research the issues that are economic to Senate Resolution 605, a bill that seeks to use tax revenues from the legalization of gambling and horse racing wagering for education.

‘Without a doubt, the HOPE Scholarship is definitely a tool that is important Georgians being able to afford degree,’ State Senator Brandon Beach (R-District 21) and chair of the committee, said in July.

Hope for HOPE

First launched in 1993 under then-Governor Zell Miller, the HOPE Scholarship can be acquired to all or any Georgia residents who meet particular scholastic criteria, for example maintaining a 3.0 minimal grade point average while in high school.

Today, HOPE is made up of show of tiered programs including the HOPE Grant, designed for pupils looking for a certification that is technical diploma, and the Zell Miller Scholarship, aimed at highly successful additional education students that have maintained a 3.7 GPA.

However, since 1998 tuition has surged more than 300 percent nationwide, though inflation has increased just 85 percent, making state lawmakers scrambling to keep HOPE adequately funded.

Its lottery, the form that is only of gambling currently in Georgia, has funded $8 billion in HOPE programs to more than 1.6 million deserving recipients since the program’s inception. But the lottery merely can’t keep up with the escalating tuition increases.

‘Because associated with success and need for the program, it is critical to look at methods to keep it financially solvent for years into the future,’ Beach affirmed. the funding hurdle is through legalizing gambling, at least according to proponents.

‘The tourism destination casino happens to be means overdue to have tourists into Georgia and their bucks into Georgia to fund higher education,’ Economic Development Committee Chair and State Rep. Ron Stephens (R-District 164) said.

Casinos on Georgia’s Mind

If the two committee meetings go in favor of passing gambling legislation, Georgia stands to come up with $250 million an in hope scholarship funding, according to stephens year. He’s in favor of placing a gambling amendment on the statewide ballot in November 2016, and should voters decide to get rid of casino prohibition, let local governments to determine whether they want to host a gambling venue.

The state would be divided into five zones with a total of no more than six licenses being issued in Stephens’ bill. The Georgia Lottery would oversee each casino.

‘Georgia has historically been during the forefront of making a deal with students: you cover tuition costs,’ State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-District 42) said in a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed if you work hard in high school and in college, we’ll help. ‘ That’s not really the situation anymore.’

Union Barred from Beaming Messages to Walls of Carl Icahn gambling enterprises

Regional union workers will probably continue picketing at the Trump Taj Mahal, nevertheless they defintely won’t be allowed to beam messages on its walls. (Image: AP)

Casino employees and billionaire investor Carl Icahn get excited about a battle that’s mainly being fought with words, one over whether those workers must have their advantages reinstated and that could end in a hit.

But because of a ruling by one New Jersey judge, these day there are a few more rules about just where those expressed terms can be placed.

Trump Entertainment Resorts, which is in the process of being purchased by Icahn, had been in a position to get an injunction from a judge on Thursday that will minimize regional 54 of the Unite-HERE union from using projections to beam light messages onto the walls of a few casinos in Atlantic City.

The union was in fact placing these messages in the Tropicana, which Icahn currently owns, too as the Trump Taj Mahal and the shuttered Trump Plaza.

Messages Phone for Boycott

Union members had been projecting messages onto the walls at evening, ones that stated things such as ‘Boycott Taj.’ That message echoes one that has been sent out by New Jersey’s state chapter of the AFL-CIO, which told union members to boycott both the Taj Mahal as well as the Tropicana due to the ongoing dispute.

‘We respectfully ask affiliated union members and their friends and household to stand in solidarity with your siblings at Unite-HERE Local 54, who have borne the brunt of Icahn’s ruthless and greedy assault on workers,’ read a statement from the AFL-CIO.

The fight that is bitter Icahn and the union began when Icahn consented to invest within the Taj Mahal, taking over the struggling casino in order to prevent it from closing.

However, as a disorder of his purchase, he demanded that he have the ability to break existing contracts with the workers union, stripping pension plans and health insurance benefits from workers.

Benefits Appeal Ruling Can Come Soon

A bankruptcy court judge allowed Icahn’s request final October, immediately drawing fire from the union, which vowed to fight any cut in benefits.

The scenario is currently being appealed, with Icahn saying it to close if the union is successful in restoring the benefits package that he would pull funding for the Taj Mahal and force.

While a decision on that full case continues to be pending, it is expected in the future soon. In the meantime, Trump Entertainment said they had been happy with all the ruling that should see end towards the messages appearing on their properties.

‘Our company is gratified that the court put a stop to Local 54 activities that only harm the perception of Atlantic City and their members that are own’ Trump Entertainment said in a declaration.

However, the increasing acrimony between the two edges is apparently pressing the union closer to waging a strike from the Taj Mahal. According to Unite-HERE, that’s what will happen unless Trump Entertainment agrees to restore benefits to its workers.

‘ We should provide the company one chance that is last visited their senses,’ said union spokesperson Ben Begleiter. ‘The workers during the Taj are fed up, in addition they’re ready to go on strike.’

The workers are receiving smaller stipends designed to assist them purchase coverage separately, typically on exchanges produced underneath the Affordable Care Act.

However, union workers say the stipends are not enough for people that have families to get similar coverage to what they enjoyed under their previous health care plan.

Jim Murren Considering Taking MGM From The Grid in Nevada

Jim Murren desires to just take MGM Resorts off regarding the Nevada public power utility grid, but is balking at fees the ongoing company would owe it if sought other power sources. (Image: CBS Las Vegas, Nevada)

MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren really wants to put his business’s nevada operations on a greener path, using clearner, renewable energy sources to power its casinos and resorts.

But he doesn’t want to spend NV Energy for the privilege of accomplishing it.

Murren told KSNV News 3 in Las Vegas that while he’d like MGM to stick with NV Energy, the public energy that solutions Nevada, he is searching at his options because he would want to find a method to both reduced the company’s energy bills and its carbon footprint in addition.

If MGM wished to go off the grid and buy electricity on the open market rather, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission says the company would need to pay them nearly $90 million for the right to take action.

Several Casino Companies Looking at Energy Alternatives

Those charges came to light as three major casino corporations, including MGM, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. all filed applications utilizing the utilities commission within an work to leave.

Between the three businesses, they would owe almost $131 million in fees if they were to leave the utility that is public.

The fees are designed to help offset the losses that NV Energy would face if those organizations were to leave their power network, also as recoup investments created by the company to provide electricity for anyone organizations.

In total, the 3 gaming businesses represent nearly 5 % of NV Energy’s sales.

Based on Murren, nevertheless, the charges feel like a penalty for wanting his business to become more efficient and environmentally friendly.

‘Why don’t you replace the way you are conducting yourselves, deliver power more efficiently and in an easier way from a perspective that is environmental not place it on the backs of the customers,’ Murren told KSNV. ‘But never penalize me because I want clean energy.’

Clean Energy Summit Promotes Solar Power for People

The remarks arrived a day after the nationwide clean energy summit arranged by harry reid (d-nevada), held at the mandalay bay convention center.

President Barack Obama gave the keynote address on Monday, pointing out that most of the time, it was now usually cheaper for customers to use power that is solar to depend on more traditional power sources.

‘[Customers] can tell [their] utility business that they want renewable energy and have solar on top by the ‘ Obama said, speaking of programs offered by local utilities in Oklahoma and Texas weekend. ‘It’s a american power revolution. Good utilities recognize this and are adapting company models to seize the opportunities of this emerging power reality.’

Murren spokes about some other topics during his discussion with KSNV, including how the drop in revenues from Macau has had an impact on MGM’s bottom line, and the undeniable fact that in Las Vegas, most revenues now come from non-gaming sources.

Murren also talked to the coming retirement of Senator Reid.

A friend, says that Nevada will be losing a strong advocate when Reid retires while Murren is a Republican, he considers Reid.

‘With all due respect to your other federal delegates, if you added them all up and multiplied it by ten, they don’t have the energy and influence in Washington that Senator Reed has right now,’ he said. ‘Like therefore things that are many life: you do not know what you have lost until it’s gone.’

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