Ohio VLT Resolution Stalls in Senate

by John Kady

The Ohio Senate on June 11 delayed consideration of a resolution to put a racetrack video lottery terminal issue on the November ballot. The delay was caused by disagreements among Senate Democrats over how VLT revenue, estimated to be $500 million and $700 million a year, would be distributed.

Some Democrats want a portionof the proceeds, now ticketed for education, to go toward a prescription drug program for senior citizens. The Democrats support is needed to give the bill the necessary two-thirds vote needed to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

Meanwhile, Rep. Larry Householder said his chamber would stand behind the legislation it enacted as part of the budget. The House-passed budget increased the sales tax by a penny and put the VLT question on the ballot. If VLTs are approved by voters Nov. 4, the sales tax would be rescinded.

Householder said senators are "wasting their time" trying to enact the resolution independent of the budget.

"I don't think we'd be very supportive of the way they are doing it," Householder said.