NM Senate votes to reject Navajo gaming compact

By Bill Donovan and Colleen Keane
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 20, 2014

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A fter about an hour debate Wednesday afternoon, the New Mexico state senate killed the Navajo Nation Gaming Compact bill, according to a Tweet from Representative Roger Madalena in a vote of 31-10.

The vote came after Senator John Pinto pleaded for its passage saying, "I ask that you honor me as a Code Talker and approve this legislation."

He added, "I'm old and I would like to see this when I'm still here."

The bill had passed the House Tuesday by a vote of 36-30 and tribal officials had hoped it make it to the Senate floor. This session of the legislature ends on Thursday.

The proposed compact has had a bumpy ride toward passage.

A proposed compact was ready for consideration by the legislature on the last day of the 2012 but failed to make it to the floor because of opposition from leaders of the various Pueblo tribes.

The pueblo leaders were still opposing the latest version of the bill, which gives the Navajo Nation the right to open up three more casinos.

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