Idea to legalize casinos in Georgia may be on life support - CBS46 News

Idea to legalize casinos in Georgia may be on life support

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

CBS46 has learned that a controversial idea to legalize casinos may be on life support.

We first told you about the bill in early February. It would bring two resort casinos to Georgia with one in metro Atlanta.

To keep it alive, the bill is getting changed.

We expected a key vote on the bill Thursday, but instead it was postponed until Feb. 27. But as sponsors try to shore up votes, others are asking, what about us?

They call her "Miss O" but she's really the owner of the Little Ones Learning Center. Her world is a far cry from the world of casinos. But once she heard that destination resorts were being proposed in Georgia that would benefit Hope Scholarships, she asked herself a question.

"Where's Pre-K? Hope and Pre-K, they're synonymous," she said.

That's because in the run-up to get enough votes to get the destination resorts bill passed, sponsors made accommodations regarding who would benefit.

"We had to divvy the dollars up as best we could," said State Senator Brandon Beach.

Hope Scholarships and need-based scholarships still get the lion's share of the new casino proceeds, but rural healthcare, broadband and others would also get a cut.

"We had to have the details not only in the enabling legislation, but also in the Constitutional amendment for everybody to feel comfortable voting yes," Beach said.

But "Miss O" says the kids in Pre-K are missing out. She's been operating at a loss for the last two years because of the reimbursement formula. Still, that doesn't keep her from continuing. She just hopes the lawmakers realize for many of these kids, this is their only hope.

We'll continue to follow the debate and possible vote on Feb. 27. The next step would be the Rules Committee and then sponsors are hoping for a full vote in the Senate.

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