ANNAPOLIS - The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee rewrote Gov. Robert Ehrlich's slot machine bill Tuesday to reduce the amount of money going to track owners and to set aside more money for public schools.
The bill that was approved on an 11-2 vote would provide about $700 million a year for public schools when all 10,500 machines are in operation at Laurel, Pimlico and Rosecroft racetracks. Track owners would get $594.8 million.
The committee also set aside about $90.7 million for horse owners and breeders and about $72 million to help local governments where tracks are located deal with traffic congestion and other problems that would come with an expansion of legalized gambling.
The committee action substantially reduced the share of the proceeds that would be kept by track owners. The governor had proposed giving them 43.6 percent of the take from the slot machines, about $665 million. The new version of the bill would reduce the share to 39 percent.