Ohio slots put on hold, governor asks for clarification of executive authority
COLUMBUS, Ohio: The state's plan to place a total of 2,500 video slot machines at 7 race tracks has been placed on hold. The announcement comes shortly after Gov. Ted Strickland's approval of suspending tax cuts in an attempt to balance the state budget. The suspended tax cuts are estimated to generate $844 million. However, the hold on the slot machine plan comes only days after an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that places the state's slot plans on the 2010 ballot. The Ohio Slot Machines Referendum calls for asking voters to approve or reject the governor's plan to place slot machines at 7 race tracks. Prior to the state supreme court decision, state officials argued that the plan was not subject to referendum because it is part of the budget legislation. On September 30, 2009 Strickland announced that he is seeking clarification on his executive authority to approve the slot machine plan without voter approval. Strickland is still waiting on a ruling to be made on the governor's executive authority powers. Meanwhile, referendum supporters are required to collect 241,365 valid signatures by January 3, 2010 to place the measure on the ballot.
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