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Atlantic City related bills pass Legislature on final day

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TRENTON — Bills to allow surcharges on casino hotel rooms to fund public safety, to provide $2 million to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for the NAACP national convention in July, and to allow casinos to deduct the costs of sports betting giveaways from taxable revenues passed the Legislature on Monday.

They all now go to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature.

A6257/S4311 directs that a $2 per night fee be assessed on every casino hotel room, to be collected by the state and passed along to the host city — only Atlantic City qualifies in New Jersey — to be used to fund public safety measures. It passed the Assembly 64-13 with two abstentions, and the Senate 26-12.

A6256/S4218, co-sponsored by Assemblyman Antwan McClellan, R-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, would appropriate $2 million from the state Department of Community Affairs to the CRDA to cover costs of Atlantic City’s hosting of the national NAACP convention in July. The Senate version S4218 passed the Senate in December, and was substituted for A6256 Monday.

Not everyone was happy with the bill.

“There are so many better things we could do with $2 million in the state of New Jersey, than to pay for a party for an organization. It’s insulting to waste this much money,” said Assemblyman Brian Bergen, R-Morris, Somerset. “Is there no sanity check in the Democratic caucus?”

Bergen didn’t seem to realize McClellan, a member of his caucus, was a co-sponsor of the Assembly version.

It passed the Assembly 49 to 24, with four abstentions.

A4002, a bill to give casinos and racetracks in New Jersey a break on sports gaming taxes, passed both houses. It was amended after a conditional veto by Murphy to allow casinos and racetracks to deduct their costs of promotional giveaways from their sports gaming revenues for the purposes of taxation — but only for noninternet sports gaming.

REPORTER: Michelle Brunetti Post609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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