The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a $1.9 billion budget for the District of Columbia for the year that started Oct. 1, including $628,000 for the operation of a city-run lottery that the House previously had deleted.
If approved by the full Senate when it acts on the D.C. bill within the next two weeks, the fate of the lottery money will rest with a House-Senate conference committee.
City budget director Gladys W. Mack said she was gratified with the committee's action, which basically upheld the version of the budget bill approved two weeks ago by its D.C. subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.). That bill also includes a $36 million increase in the city's annual federal payment to $336 million.
The full committee, however, did insert language requested by its chairman, Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.), that prohibits the city from using any federal funds for the lottery. City officials have said the amendment is acceptable because city funds can just as easily be used to operate the lottery system.
In response to other objections by Sen. Lawton Chiles (D-Fla.) that the lottery might "exploit people that come to the capital," D'Amato said that a House-Senate conference may include language prohibiting "ostentatious billboards and advertising" by the city's new Lottery and Charitable Games Board.
Another amendment, introduced by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) at the request of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), asks the city to reconsider its decision to eliminate businesses owned and operated by Asian-Americans from its minority contracting program.