On Wednesday, nine Republicans joined Democrats in voting for HB 1153, including Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne . . .
Long said business at the state's taverns has been hurt by tougher drunken-driving laws and smoking bans in recent years.
"The taverns are hurting for business," Long said, highlighting the law that allowed pull tabs for nonprofit organizations but not taverns.
"I thought they made a compelling argument that this doesn't create a problem with gambling in this state, and they were an unintended victim of the law last year."
Long's predecessor, Sen. Bob Garton, would have never allowed a vote on this legislation, let alone vote for it. He had become very weary of the dubious motives behind the folks lobbying lawmakers for gaming expansion in this state for good reason. It will be interesting to see which, if any, lawmakers get jobs as lobbyists after the session adjourns this year. The list just keeps growing. And wouldn't it be nice if the legislature devoted as much time on providing real property tax relief to the state's property taxpayers as it does in rewarding lawbreakers.