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Gambling, Pit Bull Bills Now In House

  • The House of Delegates will be working on a measure to expand gambling as a special session continues in Annapolis.
  • The House is scheduled to gather at 10 a.m. Monday. The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to work on the bill Monday afternoon.
  • Floor debate in the House of Delegates is not scheduled to begin until tomorrow.
  • Senate President Mike Miller says senators will return to session tomorrow night to consider any changes the House will make to the gambling bill.
  • Some House sources say delegates may not finish their work on the bill by tomorrow night.
  • Delegates are expected to consider a number of amendments, including one that creates a legislative oversight committee made up of delegates and senators to have the final say in gambling regulation.
  • Under the current bill, a new gambling commission that is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate would regulate casinos.
  • The subcommittee chairman, Del. Frank Turner of Howard County, says that many delegates want a say in gambling regulation.
  • The Senate passed the bill 28-14 on Friday, the second day of the special session Gov. Martin O’Malley has called to focus on resolving lingering gambling issues in the state.
  • The measure would allow table games like poker and a new casino site in Prince George’s County.
  • Legally any gambling expansion must be approved by voters.
  • Lawmakers are trying to get this bill to the Board of Elections this week.  The board must finalize language for a November ballot question by next Monday.
  • Pit Bull Bills Await Committee Vote
  • The House Judiciary Committee today is expected to vote on a bill that creates a strict liability standard for owners of all dogs, not just pit bulls.
  • The Senate approved the bill on Friday. 
  • The change was in response to a court ruling that determined pit bulls are "inherently dangerous" animals.
  • The bill addresses an April decision by Maryland’s highest court that created a breed-specific, strict-liability standard for owners of pit bulls or pit bull breeds.
  • Under the ruling, a pit bull owner could be liable for a dog bite without previous evidence of the dog being dangerous.
  • The passed bill also reverses a part of the ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals that made landlords strictly liable for pit bull bites.
  • The committee held a hearing on the legislation on Friday.
  • Gambling Roll Call Vote In Senate
  • On Friday night, August 10, the Maryland Senate approved SB1 "Gaming Expansion-Video Lottery and Table Games" by a vote of 28-14.
  • >Twenty-three Democrats and five Republicans voted in favor of the bill.
  • >Eight Democrats and six Republicans voted against the bill.
  • Four Democrats and one Republican were either absent or did not vote.
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