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The agreement to allow the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to proceed with a 3,000-slot machine casino at Rohnert Park sailed through the state Senate Monday.

The 34-4 vote moved the 1,300 member tribe an important step closer to starting a project that has been in the works for nine years but has raced forward in the past month. Tribal leaders and their Las Vegas backers have said they hope to break ground on the site, south of Wilfred Avenue and west of Highway 101, this summer.

The agreement between the governor's office and the Federated Indians is the "setting of a new bar, a high bar, for future compacts," between the state and its Indian tribes, said state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who carried the bill in the Senate and whose district currently includes Rohnert Park.

There was no discussion on the Senate floor about the agreement, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed March 27.

Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who will begin representing Rohnert Park later this year as a result of redistricting, voted. No."

Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, also voted against the bill. She was not available for comment on Monday but said previously she would vote no because financial arrangements between Sonoma County and the tribe have not been finalized.

The agreement, or compact, pushes the relationship between the state and Indian gambling tribes into new territory by requiring that a range of financial agreements to address the casino's impacts be in place between the Federated Indians and Sonoma County and Rohnert Park before work on it could start.

Some large Indian tribes have said that gives local governments too much sway over casino projects. But it won key support from the California Association of Counties and others who said it preserved tribal sovereignty while making it possible for local governments to address a casino's social, environmental and infrastructure impacts.

Leno said the compact was "uncommon" and "reflects nine years worth of negotiation" between the tribe and the surrounding community.

"All the money that will be expended by the tribe (in mitigation) is for local communities," he said, referring to the $200 million revenue-sharing agreement with Rohnert Park the tribe signed in 2005, and an agreement with the county to negotiate financial mitigations for the casino's impacts.

The compact needed 27 votes in the Senate as an urgency statute, which means it would take effect this year rather than next. The two other no votes were cast by Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Loni Hancock, D-Oakland.

It goes next to the 80-seat Assembly where it needs 54 votes to move on. Political observers said there's no reason to think it will stall in the Assembly, which could take it up as soon as Thursday.

"It should have smooth sailing," said Dave McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist.

"There's no reasons to expect that a bill this high profile wouldn't be coordinated between the two leadership teams" of the Senate and Assembly, McCuan said.

One North Bay legislator whose whose stand on the measure has been closely watched is Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, a former organized labor leader who once advocated for the casino. On Monday he reaffirmed a statement last week that he will oppose the compact.

"For economic vitality, from that point of view, it's very good," he said Monday, but "my constituents are saying to vote no."

He said the objections he's heard primarily deal with assertions that there are not enough measures in place to address the casino's impacts on the environment and traffic.

"Casino supporters have highlighted the fact that the compact includes mitigations for the City of Rohnert Park, but I have serious reservations about whether those mitigations will have the desired effect," he wrote in an essay posted on his reelection campaign website.

His leading opponent in the newly-drawn 10th District, Democrat Marc Levine, issued a statement Monday accusing Allen of "political posturing" now that the votes are lined up in favor of the compact.

McCuan, the political analyst, said Allen really has no choice but to oppose the casino — and that his vote would likely not make a difference.

"This really is a radioactive vote in this area so the only place for Michael Allen to go is the "no" side. But I would assume his vote is not critical to the outcome," McCuan said. "He's listening to his constituents and Levine is looking for a political issue."

North Bay labor leaders with whom Allen is close and who have campaigned for the compact's approval shrugged off his position.

"I think that Michael knows the difference between his role as an elected official and as a union official and labor activist," said Lisa Maldonado, executive director of the North Bay Labor Council.

"I don't agree with him on this and I don't agree with Noreen Evans on this," she said. "But we won the vote so I can't be disappointed."

If the Legislature ratifies the compact, it moves forward to the federal Department of Interior. The department has 45 days to ratify or reject it. That is the last governmental hurdle, although the compact requires an agreement with the county to be signed before work can begin on the casino project.

Following the Senate vote, Scott Nielson, executive vice president and chief development officer for Station Casinos, the Las Vegas company backing the project, declined comment.

"Not yet," he said.