For the fifth consecutive year, Louisiana legislators have passed a bill that would provide a permanent source of funding for police and other services required by Harrah’s Casino—services that otherwise are paid for by New Orleans taxpayers. However, Governor Bobby Jindal has vetoed the bill each year. The original casino legislation, passed in the 1990s, requires the state to pay .6 million annually for casino support services; actual costs currently exceed million annually.
This year, state Rep. Walt Leger III and state Senator J. P. Morrell sponsored HB 389 to create the Casino Support Services Fund that would direct $1.8 million of gaming revenue to New Orleans to pay for extra fire, police, sanitation and other services for Harrah’s. The bill passed both houses and now awaits Jindal’s signature, required before the end of May. If Jindal does not sign or veto the measure it automatically will become law.
Leger said, “I’ve spoken to him this year about the bill and how important it is to the city of New Orleans. With the assurance that this money is coming in, the city can plan its budget accordingly and won’t have the uncertainty of going back to the legislature year after year.”