Will CT keep sharing casino revenues with towns after the election?

The bill ends a requirement that cities and towns share in the proceeds from video slots from the two casinos in southeastern Connecticut.

For years, state law has said $135 million of the revenue from Foxwoods Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun should be shared with cities and towns. And for more than a decade, governors and legislatures have – year after year – suspended-but-not repealed that requirement, and then given communities about $62 million.

In fact, the new state budget that takes effect July 1 again gives municipalities $62 million out of $279 million in projected video slot receipts.

So why are Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature now removing the $135 million requirement permanently from state statutes?

Because once the legal requirement to share $135 million is gone, nonpartisan fiscal analysts can no longer count it when calculating the deficit they are tracking in the first state budget after this fall’s state elections.

The 2015-16 fiscal year, according to analysts, has a built-in shortfall of $1.33 billion, or 8 percent. Without the required video slot sharing, that gap falls to about $1.2 billion, or 7 percent.