The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Union Comment: Proposition 68 is not the solution to the budget crisis

Quick money over morals is the incentive being offered to Californians by Proposition 68 in the November election.

Old promises made to American Indians and the welfare of community members are being quickly swept aside by the lure of $1 billion, which will come in annually to the state if the proposition is passed.

Proposition 68 proposes to make American Indians pay their “fair share” or give them competition by upgrading card rooms and racetracks across the state into Vegas-size casinos.

If passed, the proposition will require American Indian tribes that are operating casinos to pay 25 percent of their annual revenue to the state within 90 days. In the event that all tribes do not unanimously comply, more than 30,000 slot machines will be installed in card rooms and racetracks that are located near more than 200 schools and major freeways.

In either scenario, the state will be receving about $1 billion annually from gambling profits. It’s an ultimatum in which the government wins and the American Indians lose.

Furthermore, tribes will not be the only ones negatively affected by the proposition; local residents will suffer as well.

Two of the casinos planned for upgrading are the Normandy Casino and the Hustler Casino, both of which are in the vicinity of several elementary schools, high schools and El Camino College. The Vegas-size casinos could bring more traffic to the already congested 91 and 405 freeways and surrounding surface streets.

The casinos could also increase crime and illegal activity in the areas near schools and residential sections.

The proposition could end up costing the state millions more in additional law enforcement officers, gambling support groups and healthy gambling habit classes.

Tribes that operate casinos already pay a cumulative amount of more than $1 million a year to the state to be used for specified purposes, such as making payments to tribes that operate fewer than 350 machines.

In addition to paying the state a percentage of their revenues, tribes agree to prepare detailed enviromental studies analyzing the impact on the surrounding area of any gambling facility, and to negotiate with local governments regarding payments.

American Indians already pay a percentage to the government annually. Proposition 68 threatens to break agreements that have been in effect for years and most are not due to expire until 2020 or later.

Proposition 68 threatens to either turn residential areas into Vegas strips or to break another promise made to Native American tribes. It comes down to which is more important to Californians: our money or our morals?

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