House advances table games bill

Table Games
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell speaks during a news conference in Harrisburg. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

The long-awaited Pennsylvania table games bill appears to be back on the fast track.

The state House today voted to send the bill adding table games at slots parlors back to the Senate. That move sets in motion the formation of a joint legislative conference committee to work out a final compromise.

The House voted 189-to-2 this afternoon to reject the current version of the bill.

The conference committee - made up of representatives of each of the four legislative caucuses - will meet at 4 p.m. and the Senate is expected to vote on the final product as early as this evening. 

The language of the final bill has not yet been made public - although House Democratic leaders confirmed on the House floor today that it does contain the controversial two-year extension for Foxwoods planned casino to be built in Philadelphia. House Rep. Michael O'Brien (D., Phila.) failed in his attempt to block the extension during a vote today.

Gov. Rendell says the anticipated $250 million in revenue from table games is needed to avert the layoffs of nearly 1,000 state workers. At a news conference earlier today Rendell reaffirmed his pledge to lay off the workers if there was no bill on his desk by Friday.
 

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