Governor Branstad Vetoes Gambling Bill

By Mike Wiser, Reporter

DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Terry Branstad believes that problem gamblers, who voluntarily excluded themselves from gaming establishments for life, shouldn't get a chance to return to the casino in five years.

On Friday, Branstad vetoed Senate File 204, which allowed people who voluntarily banned themselves from gambling for life to return after five years.

The measure, which had the support of the Iowa Gaming Association and a casino company, was opposed by some religious groups. It received bipartisan support in both chambers, passing the Senate 46-2 in March and the House 78-19 on April 8.

"Treatment experts have found that addictions tend to be life-long, which is why the voluntary lifetime ban serves a valuable public purpose," Branstad wrote in his veto message. "This voluntary ban option is an important part of Iowa's laws relating to responsible gaming."

The governor also vetoed House File 569, which created new license classifications for people involved in treating those affected by substance abuse.

In his veto statement, the governor wrote expanding the licenses would be costly and he did not agree with lawmakers who thought the new classifications necessary.

The governor also signed 11 bills into law. They are:

House File 351 — providing that children who are enrolled in the statewide preschool program are of compulsory attendance age.

House File 533 — providing for entrepreneurial education funds for student organizations and clubs and including effective date and applicability provisions.

House File 538 — authorizing alternate members of the Board of Parole.

Senate File 146 — extending a provision relating to the use of certain increases in watercraft registration fees by the Natural Resources Commission.

Senate File 186 — relating to funds transfers under the uniform commercial code, and including effective date provisions.

Senate File 317 — prohibiting the disbursement of a certain plant, including its seeds, commonly classified as garlic mustard, oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, and Japanese hop within this state, and making penalties applicable.

Senate File 389 — relating to hunter safety and ethics education course requirements.

Senate File 419 — providing for vision screening for school children.

Senate File 427 — relating to the licensing of plumbing, mechanical, hvac-refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic professionals, including transition provisions, including effective date provisions and making penalties applicable.
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