Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Another Area In Which Local Governments Misspend



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    CABAZON, CA - JUNE 29: The Morongo Casino Resort and Spa is seen on June 29, 2007 near Cabazon, California. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger convinced the Legislature to allow an expansion of Indian casino gambling in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the state in a controversial deal that had pitted labor groups against tribes over worker protections and the right to organize into unions. The compacts will reportedly affect 100,000 workers. Four Southern California tribes will be allowed to add 17,000 slot machines to their casinos for a statewide increase of 30 percent. They are Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in Cabazon. Many people within these tribes were poor and had no electricity. What began as bingo games on the reservations has grown into large Las Vegas-style casinos with the help of the state of California and brought riches to the tribes lucky enough to be located near major freeways or population centers. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    Local governments near Indian casinos receive money to mitigate the impacts -- economic, environmental, traffic, etc. -- of their proximity to gambling.

    But, in yet another example of the shell game that constitutes California local finance, a new report from the State Auditor says many localities aren't spending that money where they should. Jim Miller of the Press Enterprise, a leader in coverage of Indian gaming issues, has details here.