California Proposition 97, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Gaming Compact (2008)
All four similar gaming compact measures allow certain Native American tribes in California to add additional slot machines in exchange for giving the state government a higher percentage of their profits from the new slot machines. The four ballot measures differed only in which tribe they referred to and how many slot machines that tribe was allowed to add as a result of the compacts.
- See also: California Tribal Gaming Compacts (2008)
|California Proposition 97|
- Allowed the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to add an additional 3,000 slot machines and one additional casino.
- Requires the tribe to make a minimum $25,400,000 annual payment to the state government, and pay an additional percentage of the revenue generated from the additional slot machine to the state.
- Required the tribe to enter into an enforceable agreement to "reduce or avoid significant environmental impacts and to pay for increased public service costs, or go to arbitration to settle disagreements on these issues." This is a stronger degree of regulation than existed in the 1999 gaming compacts that were supplanted by Proposition 97.
Text of measure
|Voting on Gambling|
|Not on ballot|
The ballot title was:
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 96 said:
A "Yes" vote approves and a "No" vote rejects, a law that:
- Ratifies amendment to existing gaming compact between the state and Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; amendment would permit tribe to operate 3,000 additional slot machines;
- Omits certain projects from scope of California Environmental Quality Act; amendment provides for Tribal Environmental Impact Report and intergovernmental procedure to address environmental impact;
- Revenue paid by tribe to be deposited in General Fund; tribe would make $23,400,000 annual payment and pay percentage of revenue generated from the additional slot machines to the state.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- Net increase in annual state government revenues probably in the tens of millions of dollars, growing over time through 2030.
- For local governments in Riverside County, potential net increase of revenues due to economic growth and potential increased payments from the tribe to offset higher costs.
The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition 97 were signed by:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Jack O'Connell, California Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Gene Gantt, Legislative Director, California Fire Chiefs Association
- Linda Adams, Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency
- Alan Wayne Barcelona, president, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association
Arguments in favor
Supporters of Proposition 97 made these arguments in its favor in the state's official voter guide and elsewhere:
- "These agreements will provide hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenues each year and billions in the years ahead to help pay for public safety, education, and other services.
- Raise $200 million the first year (with revenues increasing significantly in future years) and an estimated $9 billion over the next two decades to help balance the budget and pay for schools, roads and bridges, public safety and health care
- "The agreements will create thousands of new jobs for Indians and non-Indians."
- The agreement will strengthen employee and environmental protections.
$108,366,370 was contributed to the joint campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on all 4 propositions.
Donors of $100,000 or more were:
|Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians||$41,896,993|
|Morongo Band of Mission Indians||$37,875,177|
|Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians||$20,865,025|
|Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation||$6,031,637|
The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition 97 were signed by:
- Marty Hittelman, president, California Federation of Teachers
- John A. Gomez, Jr., president, American Indian Rights and Resources Organization
- Lenny Goldberg, executive director, California Tax Reform Association
- John F. Hanley, fire captain, Fire Fighters Local 798
- Dolores Huerta, co-founder, United Farm Workers
- Maury Hannigan, former commissioner and chief executive officer, California Highway Patrol
- Fail to include clear and fair revenue sharing plans
- The deals would make California home to some of the largest casinos in the world, with more than twice as many slot machines as the big Vegas casinos.
- One third of California's gaming business would be given to 4 of 108 tribes, which might economically devastate smaller tribes.
- The new compacts fail to let communities protest over the possible environmental impact on the area.
- The 4 tribes that benefit from the compacts have a history of denying affordable health care to their employees.
- The deals let the Big 4 tribes manipulate the "revenue sharing formula" and underpay the state.
Donors of $100,000 or more were:
|Pala Band of Mission Indians||$12,985,836|
|Stockbridge Real Estate Fund||$3,000,000|
|Bay Meadows Race Track||$2,756,750|
|Hollywood Park Race Track||$2,756,750|
|Fair Public Policy Coalition||$1,720,200|
|International Union of Operating Engineers||$100,000|
Public opinion polls
- See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures
|Date of Poll||Polling company||In favor||Opposed||Undecided|
|December 2007||Field Poll||39%||33%||28%|
|January 14-20, 2008||Field Poll||42%||37%||21%|
Path to the ballot
- See also: California signature requirements
As veto referendums, 433,971 valid signatures each were required to qualify Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 for the ballot, or a total of 1,735,884 signatures. The joint signature drive to qualify all four for the ballot was conducted by Arno Political Consultants and was paid for by Californians Against Unfair Deals.
- California 2008 ballot propositions
- California Tribal Gaming Compacts (2008)
- Campaign finance requirements for California ballot measures
- Laws governing the initiative process in California
- California signature requirements
- Official Voter Information Guide : Proposition 97
- PDF of the mailed February 5, 2008 voter guide for Propositions 94-97
- February 5, 2008 ballot proposition election returns
- Proposition 97 in the Smart Voter Guide
- Analysis of Propositions 94-97 from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 97 from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against 97 from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 97 from Follow The Money
- "Yes on 94, 95, 96 & 97" campaign website (archival)
- "No Unfair Deals" opposition website (archival)
- Proposition 97 Ballot Language
- Governor: Yes On Casino Measures, Capital Notes, Nov. 26, 2007
- California Voter Guide, "Arguments for and against Proposition 95"
- Follow the Money, "Donors to Yes on 94, 95, 96 and 97"
- No Unfair Deals Fact sheet
- Follow the Money, "Donors to No on 94, 95, 96 and 97"
- Ballot measure TV ads get voters' attention; Proposition 93 support slips, Press-Enterprise, Jan. 24, 2008
- Expenditure details, "Californians Against Unfair Deals"