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Governor and Lawmakers Reach Agreement on Slots Sticking Point

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and lawmakers have reached an agreement that ends a stalemate over how to balance the state's two-year $54 billion budget.

Under the agreement, Strickland will issue an executive order instructing the Ohio Lottery Commission to begin implementing electronic slot machines at the state's seven horse racetracks.

Lawmakers will give Strickland legal protection by writing in the state budget that the lottery has the authority to do so.

Strickland and the Legislature had been locked in an impasse since the governor announced June 19 that he had changed his stance on lottery-run slots and would rely on them to help balance the budget.

Strickland has said slots can generate $933 million, helping fill a $3.2 billion shortfall, along with $2.3 billion in spending cuts.