- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – A Maryland board has approved hiring fund managers to disburse slot machine revenue set aside to help minority- and women-owned businesses.

The Board of Public Works voted 2-1 on Wednesday to designate the Maryland Department of Economic Development to manage the small, minority and women-owned business account. It is funded by 1.5 percent of slot machine proceeds.

The board also approved allowing the department to procure the financial services of eligible fund managers.

Comptroller Peter Franchot opposed the idea. He says he believes the department could handle the work itself, without hiring a third party.

The fund has roughly $5 million in it, but the amount is expected to go up as slot machine revenue rises.