Home

Iowa Press Transcripts

Iowa Press Links

Representative Scott Raecker and
Gambling Regulator Mike Mahaffey


(#3125)
February 20, 2004

Click to listen to the streaming audio file. Listen to this program
(Requires RealPlayer)

IOWA PRESS #3125>>

Borg: MORE GAMBLING? IOWA LEGISLATORS PONDER TAKING A CHANCE. PERSPECTIVE FROM REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT RAECKER AND GAMBLING REGULATOR MIKE MAHAFFEY ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS;

AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS IN IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, MONEY IS INTEGRAL IN LEGISLATIVE ISSUES. THE ISSUE SET FOR DEBATE NEXT THURSDAY FITS THAT MOLD. THE TOPIC IS STATE LICENSED GAMBLING, BUT WITH MANY SIDEBAR QUESTIONS: SHOULD THERE BE MORE GAMBLING OVERALL AND PERHAPS 5 NEW LICENSES TO THE CURRENT 13 CASINOS AND RACETRACKS; ANOTHER IS SHOULD RIVER-BASED CASINOS BE CONSIDERED JUST LIKE LAND-BASED OPERATIONS; AND SHOULD THOSE CASINOS WITH ONLY SLOT MACHINES BE ALLOWED TO ADD TABLE GAMES; AND FINALLY, AND A BIG ONE, HOW SHOULD THE STATE DEAL WITH A RECENT IOWA SUPREME COURT RULING SAYINGS CASINOS ON WATER AND LAND MUST BE TAXED ALIKE? MONTEZUMA ATTORNEY MIKE MAHAFFEY CHAIRS IOWA'S RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION. LEGISLATOR SCOTT RAECKER CHAIRS THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON GAMBLING IN THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND HE'LL MANAGE THE COMPREHENSIVE GAMBLING BILL AS IT'S BEING DEBATED. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO "IOWA PRESS."

Raecker: THANK YOU.

Mahaffey: NICE TO BE HERE.

Borg: A LOT OF ISSUES THERE TO DISCUSS THIS MORNING.

Raecker: YES, THERE ARE.

Borg: ALSO WITH US HERE AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE, TWO IOWA STATEHOUSE REGULARS: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND "RADIO IOWA" NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON.

Henderson: MR. MAHAFFEY, LAST FALL THE RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION SAID IT WOULD NOT LIFT THE MORATORIUM AND LOOK TO LEGISLATORS FOR GUIDANCE. GIVEN WHAT YOU'VE HEARD ABOUT THIS BILL THAT'S BEING DEVELOPED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IS THAT THE KIND OF GUIDANCE YOU WERE LOOKING FOR AS A COMMISSION?

Mahaffey: THERE WERE, I THINK, FOUR SPECIFIC ISSUES THAT WE ASKED THE LEGISLATURE TO ADDRESS, AND THERE'S GOING TO BE MORE THAN THOSE ISSUES ADDRESSED IN THIS BILL, KAY. REALLY I THINK THE PROCESS THAT WE BEGAN LAST YEAR IN TERMS OF DISCUSSING THE EXPANSION OF GAMBLING HAS BEEN CONTINUED BY THE LEGISLATURE. ONE OF THE THINGS WE SAID IS THAT WE MAY REVISIT THE ISSUE IF THE LEGISLATURE WOULD WEIGH IN ON THIS. AND THE REASON WE DID THAT, VERY HONESTLY, IS THAT WE ARE FIVE REGULATORY MEMBERS OF A COMMISSION APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE STATE SENATE. WE HAVE 150 ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES AND THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE IN THE STATE, INCLUDING ME, THAT BELIEVE THIS IS A MAJOR PUBLIC POLICY DECISION AND THAT WE NEEDED THE INPUT OF THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. SO I THINK IN THAT RESPECT, WE'LL WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT THURSDAY. BUT IN TERMS OF ADDRESSING ISSUES, I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE MORE COMPREHENSIVE BILLS THAT WE'VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME ON GAMBLING.

Henderson: AND THE FOUR ISSUES WERE LICENSES, WHETHER THEY COULD CRUISE?

Mahaffey: RIGHT. THE GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM AND THE QUESTION OF LAKES, YOU KNOW, WHAT KIND OF LAKES OR RIVERS YOU COULD CRUISE ON, BECAUSE MANY OF THE PLACES THAT WANT TO HAVE A LICENSE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BASICALLY MAKE LAKES. I THINK THOSE ARE THE FOUR THAT WE HAD. AND THERE HAVE BEEN SOME OTHER ISSUES THAT HAVE ALSO BEEN ADDRESSED.

Henderson: AND WE'LL GET TO THOSE.

Mahaffey: OKAY. Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, WHERE -- BEFORE WE GET INTO THE SPECIFICS OF THIS BILL, WHERE IS THIS STATE HEADED WITH THIS INDUSTRY? ARE WE EXPANDING GAMBLING? ARE WE CONTRACTING GAMBLING? WHERE ARE WE HEADED WITH THIS?

Raecker: WELL, I THINK THERE ARE A COUPLE OF FOCUSES ON THAT, DAVID. RIGHT NOW THERE IS EXPANSION OF GAMING IN IOWA TAKING PLACE. CURRENTLY THE COMMISSION DID AUTHORIZE AN EXPANSION OF 400 SLOT MACHINES IN DUBUQUE, FROM 600 TO 1,000 SLOT MACHINES. WE'VE GOT MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICES GOING IN CONVENIENCE STORES THAT HAVE ALL OF THE APPEARANCES OF GAMING, SO THERE ARE THOSE ELEMENTS OF GAMING. AS IT RELATES TO THE STATE LICENSE QUESTIONS THAT THE REGULATORY COMMISSION BROUGHT TO THE LEGISLATURE SEEKING GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION, I THINK THIS DISCUSSION AND DEBATE IS GOING TO GIVE THAT DIRECTION. TODAY I THINK IT'S PREMATURE TO EVEN INDICATE WHERE ARE WE GOING WITH THIS BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VERY FULL, OPEN, AND OBJECTIVE DEBATE ON THOSE ISSUES THIS WEEK.

Borg: MR. RAECKER, WHY IS IT NOW? IS IT BECAUSE MR. MAHAFFEY AND THE STATE RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION SAID, "WELL, WE DON'T WANT TO DECIDE. WE WANT TO TURN IT OVER TO THE LEGISLATURE." IS IT BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF REFERENDUMS AROUND THE STATE SAYING IF MORE LICENSES ARE GRANTED WE WANT ONE OF THESE? IS IT BECAUSE THE STATE NEEDS REVENUE AND THIS MIGHT BE A SOURCE? WHAT'S THE REASON FOR DOING IT NOW?

Raecker: I THINK THE GENESIS OF ALL OF THIS IS THE TAX ISSUE THAT WAS BROUGHT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT. AND THE REASON I SAY THAT IS BECAUSE LAST YEAR IN THE SENATE THERE WAS A BILL THAT WAS INTRODUCED THAT SUGGESTED THERE COULD BE NEW LICENSES OFFERED. WHEN THAT WAS INTRODUCED, THERE WERE COUNTIES ACROSS THE STATE THAT MOBILIZED TO PASS REFERENDUMS. FIVE COUNTIES HAVE PASSED REFERENDUMS. FIVE HAVE DEFEATED THOSE REFERENDUMS. THOSE COMMUNITIES THEN WENT TO THE COMMISSION SEEKING TO HAVE THE MORATORIUM LIFTED SO THAT THEY COULD OFFER NEW LICENSES. THE COMMISSION THEN RESPONDED THEY WANTED CLEAR GUIDANCE FROM THE LEGISLATURE. LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP IDENTIFIED THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE THE DEBATE AT SOME TIME THIS YEAR. AND HOW WOULD WE CONTROL THAT? WOULD WE CONTROL IT WITH AN OPEN, OBJECTIVE, FAIR, AND BALANCED PROCESS TO GET ALL OF THE INFORMATION ON THE TABLE SO THAT WE COULD MAKE GOOD POLICY DECISIONS, OR WOULD WE WAIT FOR SOME AMENDMENT LATE AT NIGHT TOWARDS THE END OF THE SESSION? Yepsen: THE COURT RULED THAT THE WAY IOWA TAXES GAMBLING INSTITUTIONS, CASINOS, IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL, RIGHT? IS THAT A FAIR WAY --

Mahaffey: UNDER THE STATE CONSTITUTION.

Raecker: UNDER THE STATE CONSTITUTION. Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, I MEAN WHERE ARE YOU ON THIS MORATORIUM QUESTION?

Raecker: THE MORATORIUM IS NOT ACTUALLY ADDRESSED IN THE BILL AT THIS TIME. WE ACTUALLY GIVE GUIDANCE TO THE COMMISSION AS TO THE AREAS THAT THEY ASKED AND OTHERS. WHAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT I DO BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE AMENDMENTS TO THE BILL. CURRENTLY THE BILL WOULD AUTHORIZE THE GRANTING OF UP TO FIVE ADDITIONAL LICENSES. THERE WILL BE A DEBATE ON AN AMENDMENT I'M SURE THAT WILL CAP THOSE LICENSE NUMBERS AT TEN AND THREE, THE CURRENT NUMBERS. Yepsen: ARE YOU TWO KICKING THIS ISSUE BACK AND FORTH? IS THE LEGISLATURE NOW GOING TO KICK THIS BACK TO RACING AND GAMING?

Raecker: MY SENSE WOULD BE THAT WE WILL GET VERY CLEAR DIRECTION. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT DIRECTION WILL BE, BUT I THINK YOU WILL HAVE A VOTE ON WHETHER WE SHOULD HAVE A LEGISLATIVE IMPOSED MORATORIUM.

Henderson: BUT IF THEY DO NOT ADDRESS THE MORATORIUM, WOULD COMMISSIONERS LIFT THE MORATORIUM?

Mahaffey: I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION. AS I SAID, THE VERB WE USED WAS THE DISCRETIONARY VERB THAT WE MAY REVISIT THIS AGAIN. THE THING THAT I DO APPRECIATE ABOUT WHAT THE LEGISLATURE IS DOING IS THAT IT APPEARS AS IF WE ARE GOING TO GET SOME SPECIFIC DIRECTION. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER WE WILL ON THE MORATORIUM OR NOT AND, IF THAT'S THE CASE, THEN I IMAGINE IT WILL COME BACK TO US. AND AS TO WHAT WE WILL DO, I CAN'T HONESTLY TELL YOU AT THIS TIME I THINK ANY MORE THAN REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER CAN TELL YOU WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO NEXT THURSDAY.

Borg: I'M JUST INTERESTED IN -- WHAT DO YOU HEAR FROM PEOPLE? I MEAN I KNOW THAT DIFFERENT AREAS AROUND THE STATE WANT LICENSES, BUT WHAT DO YOU HEAR? WHAT'S THE INPUT TO YOU, TO YOUR COMMISSION?

Mahaffey: THE INPUT TO ME AND I THINK EVERY -- WE HAVE COMMISSIONERS FROM ALL ACROSS THE STATE. THE INPUT THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME VIA E-MAILS, PHONE CALLS, LETTERS, ET CETERA, LAST FALL PRETTY MUCH MIRRORED WHAT THE IOWA POLL HAS SHOWN, WHICH IS THAT I THINK THE MAJORITY OF IOWANS ARE SAYING THAT WE PROBABLY HAVE ENOUGH GAMBLING AT THE PRESENT TIME. THOSE IN THE COUNTIES THAT HAVE PASSED THE REFERENDUM ARE, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WOULD LIKE US TO DO THAT, AND WE GOT SOME INPUT FROM THEM. BUT IN TERMS OF OVERALL, I WOULD SAY PROBABLY 3/5 TO 2/3 OF THE CORRESPONDENCE I HAD, EITHER WRITTEN OR VERBAL, WAS SAYING "I THINK THERE'S ENOUGH OF THIS."

Borg: KAY, I INTERRUPTED YOU.

Henderson: THAT'S OKAY. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SPECIFICS IN THE BILL THAT'S GOING TO BE CONSIDERED ON THURSDAY. TAXES: HOW DO YOU ADDRESS THE DISCREPANCY THAT EXISTS TODAY BETWEEN THE TRACKS AND THE BOATS, AND HOW IS THAT HANDLED IN THE BILL?

Raecker: CURRENTLY AFTER THE COURT RULING, ALL OF THE TRACKS AND THE BOATS ARE TAXED AT 20 PERCENT IN IOWA. WHAT LEADERSHIP HAS INDICATED IS THAT WE NEED TO FIND A REVENUE NEUTRAL WAY TO ADDRESS THIS MOVING FORWARD. THE BILL DOES THAT BY ASSESSING A 22-PERCENT TAX ON ALL GAMING FACILITIES IN IOWA, BOTH BOATS AND TRACKS. IF THERE ARE TRACKS WHICH DO NOT CURRENTLY HAVE TABLE GAMES, THIS BILL -- THERE'S LANGUAGE IN THE BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO APPLY TO THE COMMISSION FOR TABLE GAMES. IF THEY WERE TO BE GRANTED THAT LICENSE FOR TABLE GAMES AT A TRACK, THEY WOULD GO UP TO 26 PERCENT. IF YOU ARE A BOAT, WHICH IN THE BILL ALLOWS FOR BOATS TO EITHER NOT CRUISE ANYMORE OR TO PUT IN A FLOATING BARGE FACILITY BUILT TO LOOK LIKE A RIVERBOAT WHICH DEALS WITH A PROPULSION MECHANISM BEING IN THERE OR NOT, IF YOU DECIDE TO DO THAT AND THE OTHER BOAT IN A COUNTY, IF THERE IS ANOTHER ONE, DECIDES NOT TO DO IT, YOU WOULD PAY AN ADDITIONAL 4 PERCENT. SO YOU WOULD BE AT 26 PERCENT. THAT BRINGS US CLOSE TO A REVENUE NEUTRAL FIGURE.

Henderson: LAWYER MAHAFFEY, DOES THAT PASS COURT MUSTARD, IN YOUR OPINION?

Mahaffey: THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I THINK THAT THERE OBVIOUSLY COULD BE A COURT CHALLENGE ON THAT. I THIS IT PROBABLY WOULD BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THERE'S SOME VARIABLES IN THERE THAT I THINK WOULD INDICATE THAT THAT IS EQUITABLE. ACTUALLY, AN IDEA SIMILAR TO THAT WAS PROPOSED LAST YEAR BY A TASK FORCE THAT I WAS ON, WHEN THE GOVERNOR SAID TO US, YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL FROM THE INITIAL STATE SUPREME COURT DECISION. THAT WAS BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECISION HAD SENT IT BACK TO THE STATE, AND THE STATE SAID, WELL, THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION DOESN'T APPLY, I GUESS, ANYMORE BUT THE STATE STILL DOES. AND THAT'S REALLY KIND OF WHERE THINGS BEGAN, AS SCOTT SAID, BECAUSE AT THAT POINT THE GAMING ASSOCIATION SAID, "WELL, WE DON'T WANT TO RAISE ANY TAXES. WHY DON'T YOU EXPAND THE NUMBER OF CASINOS." SO I THINK IT PROBABLY WOULD, KAY, PASS THE THE MUSTARD. Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, THE ISSUE OF NEW CASINOS IN IOWA, WHAT DOES THE BILL SAY ABOUT THAT?

Raecker: THE BILL ITSELF RIGHT NOW STATES THAT THE COMMISSION COULD GRANT UP TO FIVE ADDITIONAL LICENSES FOR RIVERBOAT CASINOS. Yepsen: SO THIS BILL DOES EXPAND GAMBLING IN IOWA?

Raecker: IT WOULD EXPAND GAMBLING THE WAY IT'S WRITTEN. BUT WHAT I'VE INDICATED ALL THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS AND TO THE CHAIR AS WELL IS THAT I WOULD NOT TAKE WHAT'S IN THE INITIAL STARTING POINT OF THIS BILL AS ANY INDICATION OF WHAT THE LEGISLATIVE INTENT IS. WE'LL REALLY FIND THAT OUT AFTER DEBATE. WE HAD TO HAVE A STARTING POINT. Yepsen: AND DOES IT SPECIFY WHERE THOSE CASINOS WILL GO? >>

Raecker: IT DOES NOT SPECIFY WHERE THE CASINOS WOULD GO. THERE IS LIMITING LANGUAGE IN THE BILL THAT CAME FROM REPRESENTATIVE GASKILL IN OUR SUBCOMMITTEE THAT INDICATES THAT A CASINO COULD NOT BE PLACED IN A COUNTY THAT CURRENTLY HAS A LICENSE OR WITHIN 50 MILES OF AN EXISTING LICENSE HOLDER. Yepsen: MR. MAHAFFEY, DO YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE?

Mahaffey: WELL, YOU KNOW, WHATEVER THE LEGISLATURE GIVES BACK TO US, WE WILL DEAL WITH. WE APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT IT'S DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE. I THINK THAT WHAT REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER SAID IS CORRECT. I THINK PROBABLY THERE WILL BE SOMETHING DONE IN TERMS OF THE MORATORIUM BY THE LEGISLATURE. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THE NUMBER FIVE IS THE NUMBER OF COUNTIES THAT HAVE PASSED REFERENDA, YOU KNOW, SO FAR. Yepsen: MR. RAECKER, BOTH OF YOU ARE GOOD REPUBLICANS. YOU PROFESS TO BE CHAMPIONS OF FREE ENTERPRISE. WHY DON'T YOU LET THE MARKETPLACE DECIDE HOW MANY GAMBLING INSTITUTIONS THERE OUGHT TO BE IN IOWA?

Raecker: WELL, I DON'T THINK THAT THERE IS LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT TO HAVE AN OPEN LICENSE AND HAVE 99 FACILITIES, ONE IN EACH COUNTY. THE MARKET STUDIES THAT HAVE BEEN DONE, AND THERE ARE TWO EXCELLENT VIABILITY STUDIES THAT HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN DONE, THE CUMMING STUDY AND THE STUDY FROM IOWA STATE, THAT INDICATE THAT THERE IS ADDITIONAL MARKET POTENTIAL IN IOWA. THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF THAT MARKET POTENTIAL I THINK WILL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSION IF THEY GRANT NEW LICENSES, AND THEY WILL FAIL OR SUCCEED BASED ON THE MARKET AVAILABILITY. Yepsen: MR. MAHAFFEY, WHAT'S THE ATTITUDE ON THE COMMISSION? WHY NOT LET THE MARKETPLACE DECIDE? HOW ABOUT LETTING THE MARKETPLACE DECIDE?

Mahaffey: WHEN WE DISCUSSED THIS PRIOR TO THE VOTE IN NOVEMBER, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT THERE WERE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ON THE COMMISSION. I THINK SOME COMMISSION MEMBERS WILL BE MORE INCLINED TO LIFT THE MORATORIUM REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE LEGISLATURE SAYS IF THEY ADDRESS THE ISSUES THAT WE'VE ASKED THEM TO ADDRESS. I THINK OTHERS ARE MORE SKEPTICAL OF THAT. LET ME GO BACK TO THE FREE MARKET, DAVID. I'M A GOOD REPUBLICAN. THERE ARE OTHER ASPECTS TO THIS IN TERMS OF WHAT KIND OF STATE WE ARE AND WHAT KIND OF STATE WE WANT TO BECOME AND WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE ENOUGH GAMBLING AT THE PRESENT TIME OR NOT. THIS BILL, EVEN IF IT DOES NOT LIFT THE MORATORIUM, DOES EXPAND GAMBLING TO SOME EXTENT IN THE STATE OF IOWA. Yepsen: BUT NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT REPEALING GAMBLING.

Mahaffey: NO, AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT. Yepsen: WE'VE MADE THAT DECISION IN THIS STATE A LONG TIME AGO. NOW THAT WE HAVE GAMBLING, WHY NOT LET THE MARKETPLACE -- IF DEAN WANTS TO START A GAMBLING ENTERPRISE AND GIVES YOU $10 MILLION, WHY SHOULDN'T HE BE ALLOWED TO DO THAT?

Mahaffey: THERE ARE SOCIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS TO THE EXPANSION OF GAMBLING ALSO THAT I THINK THOSE OF US THAT -- YOU KNOW, I PRACTICE LAW IN A SMALL TOWN, DAVID, AND I ALSO SERVE AS A PART-TIME COUNTY ATTORNEY, MY TWENTY-SIXTH YEAR OF DOING THAT. THERE IS ANOTHER SIDE TO THIS ISSUE THAT VERY HONESTLY DOESN'T GET REPORTED AS OFTEN. THAT HAS TO DO WITH THOSE THAT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH GAMBLING AND WHAT THAT LEADS TO IN TERMS OF BUSINESS, FAMILY, AND OTHER DYSFUNCTION. SO THAT'S JUST PART OF THE DEBATE I THINK BECAUSE, AGAIN, IT'S A QUESTION OF WHAT KIND OF STATE WE ARE AND WHAT KIND OF STATE WE WANT TO BECOME.

Henderson: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT YOU WOULD ALLOW EXISTING GAMBLING FACILITIES TO CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE PRODUCTS THAT THEY OFFER IN TERMS OF TABLE GAMES AT THE TRACKS. YOU'D ALSO CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE BOATS AND JUST LET THEM DOCK AND NO LONGER CRUISE. SO THIS IS JUST A GAMBLING BOAT. IT'S NOT TOURISM, IF YOU WILL, AS WAS BALLYHOOED AT THE BEGINNING OF RIVERBOAT GAMBLING IN IOWA. WHY MAKE THOSE CHANGES? THOSE ARE WHAT THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY WANTS. WHY MAKE THEM?

Raecker: I THINK WHAT WE'VE GOT TO REMEMBER IS WHAT WE'VE GOT AS A STARTING POINT IN THE BILL, AND WE WANT A FULL DEBATE WITH ALL MEMBERS OF THE BODY ON THIS. AND THOSE WERE ISSUES THE COMMISSION BROUGHT FORWARD TO US. OUR SUBCOMMITTEE, WHICH MET OVER 20 TIMES AND HAD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THIS FELT THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO PUT THOSE ISSUES BEFORE THE FULL BODY. THEY ARE IN THE BILL AT THIS POINT. WHERE THEY'LL REST AFTER THE DEBATE, I'M NOT SURE. ONE OF THE REASONS FOR CRUISING AND NOT CRUISING -- THERE IS ONE LEGITIMATE AREA ON NOT CRUISING AND THAT DOES DEAL WITH HOMELAND SECURITY ISSUES AND THE REQUIREMENTS THAT THOSE BOATS HAVE IF THEY ARE CRUISING TO COASTGUARD REQUIREMENTS EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ON INLAND WATERWAYS. THAT'S ONE ISSUE THAT WE DID ADDRESS IN THE SUBCOMMITTEE.

Henderson: MR. MAHAFFEY, IN REGARDS TO THE TABLE GAME ISSUE, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT THE COMMISSION WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF GRANTING, TABLE GAME?

Mahaffey: WELL, I THINK THE LEGISLATURE, I THINK THAT'S PART OF YOUR BILL THAT THAT WOULD BE ALLOWED, IS THAT CORRECT, WITHOUT HAVING TO SEEK A NEW LICENSE?

Raecker: THAT'S CORRECT.

Henderson: THAT WAS NOT ONE OF THE FOUR CRITERIA YOU WANTED THEM TO ADDRESS. WHY NOT?

Mahaffey: WELL, I THINK WE LOOKED AT SOME SPECIFIC ISSUES THAT WE THOUGHT, AS THE COMMISSION, NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED. AND THEN THERE WERE SOME OTHERS THAT WERE ADDRESSED. THE GOOD THING ABOUT THIS BILL IS THAT IT IS A COMPREHENSIVE BILL. SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE LAW HAVE BEEN DONE, YOU KNOW, AS WE TALKED BEFORE, IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, AND THEY DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY LOGICAL CONSISTENCY TO THEM. THE QUESTION OF CRUISING, WE'RE THE ONLY STATE THAT REQUIRES THE CRUISING. AND YOU CAN SAY IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH TOURISM. WELL, I THINK WE HAVE HONESTLY FOUND OUT THAT REALLY -- IT'S A JOKE. IT IS. Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, HORSE PURSES. ONE OF THE CONTROVERSIES IN GAMBLING IN IOWA INVOLVES THE HORSE INDUSTRY, AS YOU KNOW. WE SORT OF GOT INTO THIS GAMBLING BECAUSE WE WERE TRYING TO HELP THE HORSE INDUSTRY. THAT TENDS TO GET OVERLOOKED. HOW IS THE LEGISLATURE GOING TO RESOLVE THESE QUESTIONS: ONE, HOW MUCH OF THE GAMBLING PROFITS SHOULD GO TO HORSES -- IN FACT, IT DOESN'T LOOK TO BE VERY PROFITABLE AND MAYBE THOSE DOLLARS WOULD BE SPENT BETTER GOING TO LOCAL CHARITIES; AND SECONDLY, WHO GETS THE HORSE PURSE THAT'S OUT THERE? SHOULD WE BE GIVING MORE OF IT TO IOWA HORSES OR JUST MORE OF IT TO ANY HORSE.

Raecker: IT IS ONE OF THE MORE CONTROVERSIAL ELEMENTS AND WE DO HAVE LANGUAGE IN THE BILL THAT DOES ADDRESS THE HORSE PURSE ISSUE, AND IT REALLY IS ALMOST A PAROCHIAL ISSUE WITHIN POLK COUNTY AS IT RELATES RACING, THE PRAIRIE MEADOWS ENTITY WHICH HAS TO NEGOTIATE THE CONTRACT WITH THE LANDLORD, WHICH IS POLK COUNTY, AS WELL AS THE CONTRACT FOR THE HORSE PURSES WITH THE HORSE ASSOCIATION. BUT THAT HORSE ASSOCIATION, OF COURSE, HAS IMPACT ALL ACROSS IOWA. YOU ARE CORRECT; WE STARTED WITH HORSE RACING. IT WASN'T GENERATING ENOUGH DOLLARS SO WE BROUGHT IN SLOT MACHINES TO HELP PAY OFF THE DEBT AT PRAIRIE MEADOWS AND TO SUPPLEMENT THOSE HORSE PURSES. PART OF THE PURSES DO GO TO IOWA-BRED HORSES AND PART GO TO HORSES THAT ARE OUTSIDE OF IOWA. Yepsen: MR. MAHAFFEY, IS THERE SOME WAY WE CAN STILL ACHIEVE THE GOAL THAT WAS SET OUT WHEN WE GOT INTO THIS GAMBLING IN THIS STATE, AND THAT IS WE WANTED TO TRY TO DEVELOP A HORSE RACING INDUSTRY, SORT OF SOMETHING LIKE KENTUCKY, GOODS JOBS AND TOURISM AND ALL THAT? CAN WE EVER GET TO THAT DAY IN IOWA?

Mahaffey: THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I DO NOT PRETEND TO BE AN EXPERT ON THE HORSES OR THE DOGS, EITHER ONE. BUT YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT, DAVID. PART OF THE REASON THAT THE LEGISLATURE DID WHAT IT DID WAS TO TRY TO HAVE SOME GROWTH IN IOWA INDUSTRY, SPECIFICALLY THE GREYHOUND AND THE HORSES. AND THAT ACTUALLY STILL PLAYS WELL IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THE STATE IN WHICH THERE'S NO GAMBLING. I HAVE A COUPLE OF FRIENDS, ROGER AND ROYAL ROLAND, THAT HAVE STANDARD BREDS, AND SO I DON'T REALLY CARE TOO MUCH -- WE DON'T CARE ABOUT GAMBLING BUT THE STANDARD BREDS, YOU KNOW, RACE AT THE COUNTY FAIRS AND THEN RACE IN DES MOINES. SO I THINK THAT'S A GOOD ISSUE. I KNOW THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CONCERNS MANY PEOPLE, INCLUDING JACK KETTERER, OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHO DOES FOLLOW THE HORSES AND KNOWS QUITE A BIT ABOUT THEM, IS THAT WE DO SOMETHING TO ENHANCE, IF YOU WILL, AND INCREASE THE QUALITY OF THE HORSE RACING IN IOWA. I THINK THAT'S BEEN DONE TO SOME EXTENT. IS THERE MORE THAT CAN BE DONE? SURE. SCOTT IS EXACTLY RIGHT ABOUT THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, THIS IS SOMEWHAT OF A PAROCHIAL THING IN DES MOINES. YOU'VE GOT FACTIONS HERE, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE GOT RACING, AND THEN YOU'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE WHO THINK THERE ABSOLUTELY SHOULDN'T BE ANY MONEY GIVEN TO THE HORSES. AND I DON'T NEED TO TELL YOU THAT POLK COUNTY POLITICS IS RATHER BYZANTINE IN ANY WAY, AND IT STILL IS IN THIS CASE ALSO.

Raecker: THERE ARE CHARITABLE --

Henderson: YOU WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING?

Raecker: WELL, THERE ARE THE CHARITABLE INTERESTS IN RACES ELEMENT. THERE ARE THE HORSE INTERESTS. THERE'S THE COUNTY INTEREST AS A LANDLORD. WHAT THE HORSE INDUSTRY IS LOOKING FOR IS STABILITY IN THEIR PURSES. WHEN THE TAX WAS ESCALATING, PURSES DECLINED, AS DID THE CONTRIBUTION TO THE COUNTY AND THE CHARITIES. THE HORSE INDUSTRY IS LOOKING FOR STABILITY, AND THEY'RE TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO DO THAT THAT STILL PROTECTS THE MONEY THAT GOES TO POLK COUNTY THAT'S PLEDGED TO VISION IOWA BONDS, AS WELL AS MAKE SURE THAT THE CHARITABLE DOLLARS CONTINUE TO FLOW.

Henderson: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, ANOTHER COMPONENT OF THIS BILL THAT WILL BE DEBATED IS A $10-MILLION FEE FOR THOSE NEW LICENSES. (A) HOW DID YOU SETTLE ON $10 MILLION? AND (B) IS IT FAIR, THEN, NOT TO REQUIRE ALREADY EXISTING FACILITIES TO PAY THAT $10-MILLION FEE WHEN THEIR LICENSE COMES UP FOR RENEWAL?

Raecker: I THINK THAT'S AN EXCELLENT POINT. WE HAD TO HAVE A STARTING POINT. THERE'S SEVERAL OTHER STATES THAT WE LOOKED AT THAT DO CHARGE A FLAT FEE FOR A LICENSE. I BELIEVE WE WILL SEE DEBATE ON WHETHER THAT WILL STAY AS A FLAT FEE OR WHETHER THAT WILL BECOME A PREPAYMENT OF TAXES, IF YOU WILL. BOTH WITH THE NEW LICENSES AND WITH THE TABLE GAMES ISSUE, IF A NEW LICENSE WERE TO BE OFFERED AND THERE WERE A $10-MILLION UP-FRONT FLAT FEE, IF IT'S A FLAT FEE AND THEY WERE GOING TO BUILD A $70-MILLION FACILITY, THEY'RE NOW GOING TO BUILD A $60-MILLION FACILITY AND HAVE TO PAY THE $10 MILLION. IF IT'S A PREPAYMENT OF TAX ISSUE, THEY CAN FINANCE THAT AND IT COMES BACK AS TAX CREDITS. Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE IN THE BILL, REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, IS THE ISSUE OF CREDIT CARD ACCESS IN GAMBLING FACILITIES. WHAT DOES THE BILL DO?

Raecker: THIS BILL WILL REQUIRE ALL OF OUR LICENSE FACILITIES TO REMOVE THE MACHINES THAT ALLOW ACCESS TO CREDIT OFF OF THEIR GAMBLING PREMISE, THE WAGERING AREA AND THE GAMBLING FLOOR AREA. AND THEY ALSO WOULD THEN BE REQUIRED TO ACTIVELY ENSURE AND PROMOTE TO PATRONS THAT THEY COULD VOLUNTARILY RESTRICT ACCESS TO THEIR CREDIT CARDS BEING USED AT THEIR FACILITIES. THEY CURRENTLY HAVE SIX FACILITIES IN IOWA THAT STILL HAVE THESE MACHINES ON THE GAMING FLOOR. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, WHEN WE VISITED WITH PEOPLE THAT ARE UNDERGOING TREATMENT FOR GAMBLING ADDICTION, THEY'VE MENTIONED THAT SEVERAL OF THESE TYPES OF ISSUES THAT ARE IN THE BILL THAT CREATE BARRIERS TO THEM ARE REALLY NOT THE MAIN ISSUE FOR THEM. THEY WERE GOING TO FIND A WAY TO GET ACCESS TO THAT MONEY, WHETHER IT WAS NEXT TO THE CASH CAGE OR AT THE BANK 2 MILES AWAY. THEY REALLY NEEDED THE FUNDING FOR GAMBLERS' TREATMENT.

Borg: MR. MAHAFFEY, YOU INDICATED EARLIER, YOU HAVE SOME CONCERN ABOUT GAMBLING TREATMENT, THAT IS PEOPLE GETTING INTO TROUBLE. THIS BILL, AS I READ IT, PROPOSES 1/1000 OF 1 PERCENT OF REVENUE GO TO GAMBLING TREATMENT; IS THAT RIGHT?

Raecker: IT'S 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT, WHICH IS AN INCREASE FROM 3/10 OF 1 PERCENT.

Borg: SO IT'S INCREASING SLIGHTLY.

Mahaffey: WITH A CAP AT $6 MILLION; IS THAT CORRECT?

Raecker: YES.

Borg: YES, CAP IT AT $6 MILLION.

Mahaffey: RIGHT.

Borg: IS THAT ENOUGH?

Mahaffey: IT IS CERTAINLY A VERY GOOD START, AND I APPRECIATE VERY MUCH THE LEGISLATURE ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE MAIN CONCERNS THAT WE HAD. THE COMMISSION FOR MANY YEARS, BEGINNING WITH COMMISSIONER BILL HANSON, HAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT THE GAMBLING TREATMENT FUND MONEY HAS BEEN GOING ELSEWHERE. AND I THINK VERY HONESTLY, IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE GAMBLING IN THE STATE OF IOWA AND WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT HAVING FIRST-RATE GAMBLING FACILITIES, WE NEED TO HAVE A FIRST-RATE GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM ALSO. AND SO I THINK THAT THIS IS A GOOD PART OF THE BILL. WE'RE VERY PLEASED TO SEE THAT ON THE COMMISSION.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER.

Raecker: I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT BOTH THOSE WITHIN THE INDUSTRY AND THOSE THAT ARE OPPOSED TO THE INDUSTRY CAN FIND COMMON GROUND ON. WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE ISSUES WITH THOSE THAT HAVE COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS AND THERE ARE PROBLEM GAMBLERS. WE'VE DEDICATED 3/10 OF 1 PERCENT, BUT IT COMES THROUGH THE APPROPRIATION PROCESS. AND RIGHT NOW THAT'S ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $4 MILLION, BUT WE TAKE $1.6 MILLION OF THAT TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE, SOME OF WHICH ARE DUAL DIAGNOSIS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND GAMBLERS' TREATMENT. SO THEY GET ABOUT $2.4 MILLION NOW. THE PROPOSAL THAT THEY'VE PUT FORWARD OF WHAT THEIR TRUE NEEDS ARE RIGHT NOW IS ABOUT $5 MILLION. BY MOVING TO THE 5/10 OF 1 PERCENT, WE GENERATE ABOUT $5 MILLION. WE PUT THAT, IF YOU WILL, LOCK IT IN A TREASURY ACCOUNT THAT IS DEDICATED SPECIFIC TO GAMBLERS TREATMENT OUTSIDE OF THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS, AND WE REQUIRE THAT CREDIT COUNSELING AND A CRISIS LINE ALSO BE ADDED TO THOSE INITIATIVES.

Mahaffey: AND I THINK THAT WAS EXACTLY -- I MEAN THAT WAS A VERY GOOD PART OF THIS BILL. IT WAS EXACTLY THE THING TO DO. Yepsen: BUT THE REASON, MR. MAHAFFEY, THAT THE LEGISLATURE DID THIS IS BECAUSE THERE ARE GREATER SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS THAN THERE ARE GAMBLING PROBLEMS IN IOWA. THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE IN IOWA WHO HAVE DRUG PROBLEMS. THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE IN IOWA WHO HAVE ALCOHOLISM PROBLEMS. AND SO IN A TIME OF TIGHT RESOURCES, THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR DECIDED THAT THOSE DOLLARS WOULD BE BETTER SPENT TREATING THOSE PEOPLE. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Mahaffey: WELL, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THAT, DAVID, IS YOU WERE NOT USING THE MONEY THAT WAS GENERATED FROM GAMBLING THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO THE GAMBLING TREATMENT TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUE OF TREATMENT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE GAMBLING ADDICTION. LOOK -- Yepsen: SO WE EARMARK MONEY FOR A NEED THAT ISN'T AS GREAT AS OTHERS.

Mahaffey: WELL, I'M NOT SURE HOW GREAT THE NEED IS, BUT I WILL SAY THIS: I AM SURE THAT THERE'S MORE MONEY SPENT ON THE OTHER SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS THAN JUST THE MONEY THAT WAS TAKEN FROM THE GAMBLING TREATMENT FUND. AND THE OTHER PART ABOUT THIS IS JUST TO TRY TO BE HONEST ABOUT WHERE THAT MONEY IS GOING TO GO. AND IF THE LEGISLATURE HAD SAID SOMETHING ELSE, WE WOULD HAVE LIVED WITH THAT ALSO. WE JUST SAID, LOOK, WE THINK YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE. AND I THINK THE LEGISLATORS, AS THEY BEGIN LOOKING AT IT, THOUGHT YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK WE MAYBE DO NEED TO FUND THIS PROGRAM MORE.

Henderson: ANOTHER COMPONENT OF THIS BILL IS TRYING TO SPREAD THE WEALTH THROUGHOUT COUNTIES WHICH DON'T HAVE LICENSED GAMBLING FACILITIES. WHY MAKE THAT PROPOSAL, REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER?

Raecker: THIS REALLY CAME -- REPRESENTATIVE ROD ROBERTS FROM CARROLL ADDRESSED ON THIS IN THE SUBCOMMITTEE. THE CONCERN THAT HE HAD EXPRESSED IS WITH THE LICENSED FACILITIES, WHICH ALL HAVE A REQUIREMENT TO GIVE BACK TO CIVIC AND CHARITABLE PURPOSES, THAT GIVING TENDS TO CONCENTRATE IN THE COMMUNITIES OF CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE LICENSE. WHAT HE HAD LOOKED AT WAS HOW COULD OTHER COUNTIES WHO ALSO WOULD LIKE TO BENEFIT FROM CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THOSE GAMING DOLLARS HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY. AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE IN KOSSUTH COUNTY IN LEDYARD, MY BROTHER-IN-LAW IS IN THE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT. THEY WOULD MAYBE APPLY FOR A GRANT AND NOT GET IT FOR THEIR EQUIPMENT; WHEREAS, IN A COUNTY WHERE THERE IS A LICENSE HOLDER, THEY WOULD GET THAT. WHAT THIS BILL ALLOWS IS FOR 5/10 OF 1 PERCENT, AGAIN ABOUT $5 MILLION, THAT WOULD BE PUT IN A FUND, AND THEN IT WOULD GENERATE INTO THOSE ENDOW IOWA FOUNDATION FUNDS THAT WE CREATED LAST YEAR THAT WOULD INSPIRE COMMUNITIES TO CREATE NEW FUNDS: 80 PERCENT REDISTRIBUTED TO LOCAL CHARITIES; 20 PERCENT TO BUILD AN ENDOWMENT.

Borg: MR. MAHAFFEY, THIS REALLY GETS ALSO TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

Mahaffey: SURE.

Borg: I'M WONDERING, DOES YOUR REGULATORY COMMISSION AT ALL COORDINATE WITH THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN WHERE IT DECIDES TO LOCATE THINGS?

Mahaffey: YOU KNOW, IT'S -- THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE I'VE BEEN WITH THE COMMISSION WE'VE TALKED ABOUT HAVING, YOU KNOW, NEW LICENSES. THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I REALLY DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT, BUT PERHAPS THERE IS SOMETHING TO THAT, DEAN.

Henderson: WELL, IT GETS DOWN TO THE BIGGER QUESTION OF WHAT CRITERIA WOULD YOU USE, SHOULD YOU BE GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO HAND OUT THESE FIVE LICENSES.

Mahaffey: AND THAT'S ANOTHER VERY GOOD QUESTION I THINK WE WOULD HAVE TO DEVELOP AS WE -- AS WE, FIRST OF ALL, DISCUSSED WHETHER WE WERE GOING TO LIFT THE MORATORIUM. AND THEN IF WE DID, WE WOULD HAVE TO COME UP WITH A PROCESS FOR PURPOSES OF DECIDING HOW WE WERE GOING TO DO THAT. THIS WOULD BE NEW TERRITORY FOR ALL OF US THAT ARE ON THE COMMISSION AT THE PRESENT TIME. Yepsen: REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER, WHAT ABOUT THE SOCIAL COSTS OF GAMBLING? WE'VE TALKED ABOUT GAMBLING TREATMENT. THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES. DOES THIS BILL, IN YOUR MIND, STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN THE SOCIAL COSTS OF GAMBLING -- MARRIAGES, BANKRUPTCY, GAMBLING ADDICTION -- VERSUS THE BENEFITS? THERE'S A LOT OF GOOD JOBS THAT THIS INDUSTRY CREATES. DOES THIS GET A BALANCE?

Raecker: I THINK THE STARTING POINT OF THE BILL IS VERY BALANCED. WE'LL SEE HOW IT COMES OUT. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS IN THE BILL, ADDRESSING THESE NEEDS OF THE SOCIAL COSTS, IS THERE'S A LOT OF INFORMATION OUT THERE. THERE'S A LOT OF ANECDOTAL INFORMATION, BUT THIS BILL DOES REQUEST AND REQUIRE THAT A FULL SOCIOECONOMIC STUDY BE DONE ON THE IMPACT OF GAMBLING ON IOWA. CURRENTLY, ALL OF THE STUDIES THAT HAVE BEEN DONE HAVE BEEN VIABILITY STUDIES. WELL, IT'S AN ECONOMIC IMPACT. IT'S NOT LOOKED AT IN FAMILY FINANCES, ON PROBLEM GAMBLERS, THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. Yepsen: EXCUSE ME. WILL THIS BE A LEGITIMATE STUDY OR WILL THIS BE ONE THAT'S EITHER CONTROLLED BY THE GAMBLING INTERESTS OR BY PEOPLE WHO HATE GAMBLING?

Raecker: WELL, IT WOULD BE REQUESTED BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL AS THE FIRST STUDY TO BE DONE OF THIS NATURE. AND THEY WOULD DO AN RFP, AND I BELIEVE IT COULD BE OBJECTIVE COMING FROM THE LEGISLATURE. Yepsen: MR. MAHAFFEY, DOES THIS BILL BALANCE THE SOCIAL COSTS VERSUS THE BENEFITS TO OUR STATE?

Mahaffey: I THINK IT DOES. AGAIN, I THINK WE'RE IN A POSITION IN THIS STATE, I THINK PEOPLE BY AND LARGE ARE COMFORTABLE, AT LEAST IN THE COUNTIES WHERE THERE IS GAMBLING, THAT IT'S HERE TO STAY. BUT IT IS A BIG DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT TO EXPAND GAMBLING. AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT THIS BILL IS IT IS A PRETTY BALANCED BILL. THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE'LL SEE SOMETHING HAPPEN NEXT THURSDAY THAT HASN'T HAPPENED FOR A WHILE. Yepsen: WE'VE ONLY GOT FIFTEEN SECONDS, REPRESENTATIVE RAECKER. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW OF HOW THIS BILL WILL FAIR WHEN IT GETS TO THE SENATE? THEY DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY THERE.

Raecker: I THINK THE FIRST STEP IS TO GET IT THROUGH THE HOUSE AND SEE WHERE THE HOUSE STANDS, AND THEN THE SENATE WILL REACT TO THAT. THEY'LL HAVE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS THROUGH THE STATE GOVERNMENT PROCESS AND I WOULD ASSUME DEBATE IT ON THE FLOOR AS WELL.

Borg: WILL THE HOUSE HANDLE IT IN ONE DAY?

Raecker: THAT'S MY HOPE. I BELIEVE WE CAN GET THROUGH IT. WE'LL BEGIN IN THE MORNING ON THURSDAY, AND WE SHOULD BE DONE BY THE END OF THE DAY. Yepsen: IN DAYLIGHT HOURS?

Raecker: MY HOPE IS THAT IT HAPPENS IN DAYLIGHT HOURS, YES. [ LAUGHTER ]

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS.

Raecker: YOU'RE WELCOME.

Mahaffey: THANK YOU.

Borg: ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS WILL BE HERE TO DISCUSS THE BIG STATEHOUSE ISSUES: THE EDUCATION FUNDING STANDOFF OF THIS PAST WEEK AND THE GAMBLING DEBATE COMING UP NEXT WEEK. SAME AIRTIMES NEXT WEEK: 7:30 FRIDAY; SUNDAY AT NOON. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.