POSTED: 6:12 p.m. HST, Feb 1, 2012
A proposal giving the Hawaiian Homes Commission authority to decide whether to allow gambling on Hawaiian Home Lands — the first gambling-related bill heard in this year's legislative session — was quickly tabled, giving some indication that such bills once again face long odds of passing.
The proposal taken up by the Hawaiian Affairs Committee was heard Wednesday and deferred after lawmakers decided more discussion and consensus was needed before moving it forward.
"It's going to be unlikely that we will do anything with gambling this year in terms of passing laws," said House Majority Leader Rep. Pono Chong (D, Maunawili-Kaneohe). "Some of the (committee) chairs are going to hear it and try to move it forward, but I don't see us seriously entertaining passing something this year."
Senate leaders have said they are skeptical a gambling measure could pass this year, but they expect to debate the issue.