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A vote could happen Monday in the full state Senate on a bill that would allow recovery court graduates to get casino employee licenses, said prime co-sponsor state Sen. Chris Brown, R-Atlantic.

Current law makes a drug conviction an impossible hurdle to casino employment for many people.

“Sadly, too many of our Atlantic County families are struggling to overcome addiction and remain sober,” Brown said. “I believe the best way to give love and truly help anyone struggling with addiction is to provide real hope for their long-term recovery by ... creating job opportunities.”

The measure would allow the state Casino Control Commission to issue a casino employee license and the state Division of Gaming Enforcement to issue a casino employee registration to any applicant who has successfully completed a term of special probation, or recovery court.

Brown said Gov. Phil Murphy could sign it into law this week.

The measure S-4263, is the Senate version of A-5817, which passed the Assembly last month. The Assembly version was sponsored by Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, D-Atlantic.

The bill will be heard in the Senate State Government Committee on Monday morning and voted on in the full Senate on Monday afternoon, Brown said. Brown said he worked with Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, “to insure the bill moves in a timely fashion.”

Brown and then-Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, had co-sponsored the original version of the Senate bill, which passed the full Senate last year. Van Drew has since moved on to Congress.

The Assembly made some changes that resulted in the need for a new Senate version, Brown said.

Brown has said he developed the original bill after a conversation with Joe Jingoli, a partner in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, who believes it is Hard Rock’s corporate responsibility to give recovering addicts a second chance.

Contact: 609-272-7219

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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