Governor Brown Signs Wilton Rancheria Ratification Bill

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 1606, authored by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) was signed today by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill ratifies a tribal-state gaming compact entered into between the State of California and the Wilton Rancheria.

“I thank the Governor for signing the ratification bill and applaud my colleagues in both the Assembly and the Senate for their vote in favor of the compact,” said Assemblymember Cooper. “The Wilton Rancheria project is vital to the future prosperity of Elk Grove and will create thousands of good-paying jobs for the entire Sacramento region.”

Under long-term agreements with the City of Elk Grove and County of Sacramento, Wilton Rancheria will invest more than $180 million in the first 20 years of the project to enhance public safety, improve traffic, help schools and expand community programs. Additionally, the project will create more than 1,600 construction jobs, 1,750 full-time employees, and 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“We deeply appreciate Assemblymember Cooper’s tireless leadership and the support of the Legislature and Gov. Brown,” said Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond C. Hitchcock. “We look forward to continuing our work with the community of Elk Grove and the greater Sacramento region to create jobs, a great destination resort and to help our Tribe achieve self-sufficiency.”

The Wilton Rancheria tribe are descendants of the Plains and Sierra Miwok who lived and prospered in the Sacramento Valley for hundreds of years prior to the persecution and murderous violence against Native Americans that swept through California and the Sacramento Valley in the 1800s.

In 1958, Wilton Rancheria’s federal recognition as a tribe was taken away and was not restored until 2009. In February, after more than a half-century of struggle, the U.S. Department of the Interior placed land into federal trust for the tribe along Highway 99 in Elk Grove.

On July 19, the State of California and the Wilton Rancheria reached an agreement and entered into a tribal-state gaming compact in accordance with the federal Indian Gaming Regularity Act of 1988. The California Constitution authorizes the Governor to negotiate and conclude tribal-state gaming compacts.

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Assemblymember Cooper represents the Cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi.