More Drama

House Majority Leader Kumar Barve is claiming that they now have 85 votes to pass the constitutional slots amendment.

From the WBAL’s Robert Lang

The majority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates tells WBAL News tonight, that his chamber has the three-fifths majority or 85 votes needed to approve a constitutional amendment legalizing slots in Maryland. “I think we do,” was Majority Leader Kumar Barve’s comments as he left a hastily called House Ways and Means Committee meeting, just after 6:15 pm tonight.

The committee finalized an addition to the amendment which requires that lawmakers pass any future expansion of gaming by a simple majority (71 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate).

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However, that expansion must also be approved by voters in a referendum. Committee Chairman Sheila Hixson says the referendum requirement would be included in the state constitution, and would only apply to gambling including an expansion of slots parlors, or the legalization of table games, or casinos in Maryland. Hixson says she believes the addition, which will have to be approved by the State Senate, is necessary to attract enough delegates to vote for the measure.

These developments come just hours after a highly placed legislative source is telling WBAL News that the proposed state constitutional amendment asking voters to legalize slots at five locations is “four votes short.”

However, we are hearing that Busch’s strong arming of weak Republicans is not working. Barve may have spoken too soon

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