California Tribal Gaming Funds Bill Signed - Thursday 30th of March 2006

SACRAMENTO, California – Governor Schwarzenegger todaysigned Senate Bill 288, authored by Senators Jim Battin (R-La Quinta) andDenise Ducheny (D-San Diego), which will re-allocate $20 million from theIndian Gaming Special Distribution Fund (SDF) to be used for grants to localgovernment agencies.

Local governments use revenues received from the SDF to purchaseadditional police and fire vehicles, improve roads, implement traffic safetyprograms, and fund other critical programs.

"CNIGA applauds tribal governments, the legislature, and the Governor forworking together to restore these much needed funds to local governments. Thiswill provide local governments with the funds they were promised by both theState of California and the tribal governments when they entered into the 1999compacts," said CNIGA Chairman Anthony Miranda. "Tribes are proud of therevenues we provide to our surrounding communities and are grateful to theGovernor for recognizing the importance of distributing these funds. We hopefor the opportunity to sit down with the Governor and discuss the directbenefits these funds will create in our communities."

Last year, due to incorrect information received, Governor Schwarzeneggerobjected to budget line item 0855-101-0367 which would have allocated anadditional $20 million of mitigation funds to local governments from theSpecial Distribution Fund. SB 288 will re-instate this budget allocation.

BACKGROUND

On September 10, 1999, sixty-one tribal governments entered into gamingcompacts with the State of California. These compacts were ratified by theCalifornia State Legislature and ultimately approved by the Department of theInterior on May 16, 2000. The compacts expire in May of 2020.

Contained in these compacts is a provision for tribes to pay into a fundtitled the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund (SDF). These funds are tobe used to reimburse local governments impacted by off-reservation effects oftribal gaming, problem gambling treatment and prevention programs, and to paythe state for regulatory costs. Money from the fund may also be used to makeup for shortfalls in a second Revenue Sharing Trust Fund through which gamingtribes share revenues with non-gaming tribal governments and those withlimited gaming.

ABOUT CNIGA

Representing 64 member tribes, CNIGA is the largest association ofCalifornia federally recognized tribal governments. CNIGA is dedicated toprotecting the sovereign right of Indian tribes to have gaming on their land.It acts as a planning and coordinating agency for legislative, policy, legaland communications efforts on behalf of its members and serves as an industryforum for information and resources.

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