Thursday April 12, 2012 | 11:53 AM

 The Senate voted 20-15 late last night to reject a joint order that would have required lawmakers to write a bill to allow the Passamaquoddy Tribe to add up to 100 slot machines to their Beano facility in Calais.

 The order passed the House earlier in the day after a moving speech by Passamaquoddy Rep. Madonna Soctomah. She said while the tribes have been repeatedly rejected by voters, out of state companies and others have been allowed to open gambling facilities in Bangor and Oxford County.

 "But the membership of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, a people who predate European settlement in Maine, are told no," she said.

 Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, speaking on the floor of the Senate, raised similar themes in his attempt to sway enough support for the order.

 "I would ask the Legislature to think for a moment how your constituents would feel, how the Passamaquoddy feel, how the tribal leaders here in the chamber feel, at the prospect of being told again, in year 20, that there's a reason this isn't the right time," he said.

 Yet Assistant Senate Majority Leader Debra Plowman, R-Hampden, said the joint order, which laid out in detail what would the tribe could do, didn't leave time for a public hearing or a public vote. She called it "an abuse of the process."

 Shortly after 11 p.m., the Senate voted to reject the order.

 Soctomah brought the order forward following votes on two other gambling bills this week -- one that puts the brakes on new casinos and racinos and one that allows veterans groups to have slots at their meeting halls.


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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
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