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HANSEN SAYS HE WASN'T VIDEO LOTTERY SPONSOR

July 26, 2001 – Sen. Emmett Hansen II said Thursday that he had no knowledge of the video lottery terminal legislation being included in the 22-page amendment to the governor's supplemental budget bill approved by the Senate late on the night of July 19, although he was listed as a sponsor.
"I didn't realize it was there," Hansen said Thursday. "I have no idea how it got in there. I heard Sen. [Vargrave] Richards on the radio last night, and I had no idea what he was talking about."
A story in Wednesday's Source noted that Hansen sponsored an earlier video lottery bill, then subsequently asked the governor to veto it after getting feedback on the bill's possible consequences. The story said Hansen had done an about-face in becoming one of several sponsors of the new legislation, voted on as an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill.
However, not all of the senators had a chance to read the entire 22-page amendment in the nature of a substitute which was handed out in the last minutes of a long day, after the legislative legal counsel's office had drafted several additional amendments.
Just as the session was closing, Hansen recalled, Sen. David Jones made a motion to override Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's earlier veto of the initial video lottery legislation. Hansen said he voted against the override, and the motion failed by about 11-4, he thought.
"I am going to the legal counsel's office right now to look at the legislation," Hansen said of the new video lottery measure. "I have no idea who sponsored the amendment."
Jones must not have realized the amendment was in the massive supplemental appropriations measure, either, Hansen said. "Otherwise, why would he have moved for the override?"
Hansen said, "We were all doing our best to keep up, with amendments flying fast and furious. But my name isn't on that," he stressed, referring to the video lottery amendment. He said it was possible the amendment had come up during a time when he was off the floor getting something to eat.
Calls to Jones's office Thursday morning were not returned.

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