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Haridopolos repeats his vow: let casino bill get full Senate vote

Senate President Mike Haridopolos on Tuesday repeated his pledge to let the proposal to bring three destination resort casinos to Florida to get a full hearing in the Senate.

"I think it's important we don't bottle up the bill in committee," he told reporters after the Senate met for its first session on opening day. "What I'm not going to allow to happen is to not have a vote take place."

The bill, SB 710 by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday by a 7-3 vote. It's next stop is the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is in the throes of budget deliberations and has not scheduled a hearing for the bill. After that, the bill must be approved by the Senate Rules Committee before it comes to a House vote. Both committees are headed by legislators who don't like the bill and, Haridopolos concedes, the bill may not get a floor vote if it is killed in committee.

The House has not heard the companion to Bogdanoff's bill, sponsored by Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami. A workshop on gaming issues is scheduled on Wednesday in the House Business and Consumer Affairs SubCommittee.