HB254 was just sent to Gov. Perry’s desk. This bill was authored by Rep. Harvey Hilderbran(R – Kerrville ). He has tried to make his bill look very innocent: Who could possibly object torace track derbies? However, it is only one tiny babystep to introduce and pass legislation that would allow slots at race tracks which would turn the race track derbies into “racinos.”
Be sure and read Kudos to GOP Senators: They Smell Gambling on the Horizon
By this time, many Texans know that Speaker of the House Joe Straus and his family have made a fortune from their gambling interests. He and/or his family own Retama Park in Selma (near San Antonio), Laredo Downs, Valle de los Tesoros Park inMcAllen, and Austin Jockey Club.
It is also common knowledge that land has already been bought in Austin along FM 1625 at Texas Highway 45 and Old Lockhart Road to set up a racetrack called Longhorn Downs; Retama Entertainment Group (Straus’ family) is to manage it.
Straus and his family want to turn their race tracks into major slot machine casinos called “racinos” which could potentially make tens of millions of dollars. The only impediment is Texas lawmakers who have yet to approve slot machines (VLT’s).
The official record vote in the journal is not available yet, but this is the link to which we will need to go in the next couple of days to see how the Senate voted on this bill: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Actions.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB254
Meanwhile, we know how the House voted on it for its Third Reading :
May 13, 2011:
HB 254 ON THIRD READING
(by Hilderbran and R. Anderson)
HB 254, A bill to be entitled An Act relating to establishing the Texas Derbies.
HBi254 was passed by (Record 1064): 101 Yeas, 34 Nays, 2 Present, not
Yeas — Aliseda; Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Anchia; Anderson, C.;
Anderson, R.; Aycock; Bohac; Branch; Burkett; Cain; Callegari; Castro;
Coleman; Crownover; Darby; Davis, J.; Davis, S.; Deshotel; Driver; Dukes;
Dutton; Eiland; Eissler; Elkins; Farias; Farrar; Fletcher; Gallego; Garza;
Gonzales, L.; Gonzales, V.; Gonzalez; Guillen; Hamilton ; Hardcastle; Harless;
Harper-Brown; Hernandez Luna; Hilderbran; Hochberg; Hopson; Howard, C.;
Howard, D.; Hunter; Isaac; Jackson; Johnson; King, P.; King, T.; Kleinschmidt;
Kolkhorst; Kuempel; Larson; Legler; Lewis; Lucio; Lyne; Madden; Mallory
Caraway; Margo; Martinez ; Martinez Fischer; McClendon; Menendez; Miles;
Miller, D.; Miller, S.; Morrison; Mun˜oz; Murphy; Naishtat; Nash; Oliveira; Orr;
Pen˜ a; Pitts; Price; Quintanilla; Raymond; Riddle; Ritter; Rodriguez; Scott;
Sheets; Sheffield ; Smith, W.; Smithee; Strama; Taylor, L.; Taylor, V.; Thompson;
Torres; Truitt; Villarreal; Vo; Walle; White; Woolley; Zerwas.
Nays — Beck; Berman; Brown; Button; Carter; Chisum; Christian; Cook;
Craddick; Creighton; Flynn; Frullo; Gooden; Hancock; Hartnett; Huberty;
Hughes; Keffer; Landtroop; Laubenberg; Lavender; Parker; Patrick; Paxton;
Perry; Phillips; Schwertner; Shelton ; Simpson; Smith, T.; Solomons; Weber;
Present, not voting—Mr. Speaker; Bonnen(C).
Absent, Excused — Geren; Giddings; Gutierrez; King, S.; Lozano; Marquez; Veasey.
Absent, Excused, Committee Meeting—Otto; Turner.
Absent—Burnam; Davis , Y.; Pickett; Reynolds.