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The quiet formation of a special Texas Senate subcommittee to consider a controversial casino gambling resolution has sparked a behind-the-scenes fight that could affect passage of the state budget and school finance legislation .
Deuell said he was planning to set a hearing for Wednesday on Ellis' Senate Joint Resolution 34, which proposes a constitutional amendment to allow casinos and slot machines by licensed operators and some Indian tribes to provide funding for property tax relief and additional financial aid for college students. Lucio is a co-sponsor.
"I'm afraid that this gambling issue is being raised and it could hold the schoolchildren of Texas hostage so the gambling interests can get their issue passed," said Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. "I am fully prepared to talk about this issue for a long time. It would really be wrong to use gambling money to finance public education in this state."
House leaders have suggested in recent days that voters' approval of gambling could raise as much as $3 billion in additional revenue for the state.