Lawmaker: Maryland Slots Bill Won't Clear Committee

A proposal for racetrack slot machines is up for a vote in Maryland April 2, but a key legislator said the measure would fail.

House Speaker Michael Busch, after a House Ways and Means Committee hearing April 1, said he believes the measure would be defeated by the committee.

"I don't think this legislation is ready to be passed," Busch told the Baltimore Sun.

Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr.'s proposal to allow slots at racetracks was approved by the Senate. Negotiators trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of next year's state budget continue to debate whether the spending plan should include slots revenue.

Ehrlich has threatened to veto several of tax proposals legislators have adopted as a substitute for a budget with slots revenue. Now, lawmakers are identifying spending cuts that might be necessary, the newspaper reported.