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Quinn to wait a few more days?

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012

* Whatever the governor is preparing to do, expect it to raise hackles in the General Assembly

Despite repeatedly voicing concerns about a major gambling expansion that’s on his desk, Gov. Pat Quinn said [yesterday] that he’ll need the weekend to determine exactly what he’ll do with the proposal.

The Democratic governor has until Tuesday to take action on the proposal or it automatically becomes law. The governor can veto the measure outright, suggest changes, or sign the expansion into law. The last scenario is unlikely after Quinn warning gambling expansion supporters in the spring not to “hold your breath” for his approval.

* Quinn tipped his hand a bit on where he thinks the dollars should go

Quinn said his biggest concerns are integrity and oversight of gamblers and casino owners.

“I always believe the money should go to education. We have to make sure if we have any kind of gambling that the resources and revenue go to things that are important in our society,” Quinn said.

That’ll probably play well in the polls, but shouldn’t the cash be used to pay down the state’s massive backlog of overdue bills rather than bolstering the state’s base spending?

* The gaming bill’s supporters were hoping to use the ComEd game plan. Quinn opposed ComEd’s “smart grid” bill, but legislators overrode his veto, then passed a “trailer bill” that made many of the governor’s desired changes. Quinn quietly signed that trailer bill into law. But Speaker Madigan doesn’t think the same path will work with gaming

If Quinn vetoes or rewrites the plan that would allow a casino in Chicago, as many expect, the General Assembly lacks the votes to block him, House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters.

With a one-word answer, the top House Democrat from Chicago responded to a question about whether the Legislature could mount a successful override effort on the gaming bill this fall: “No.”

That likely means supporters of the plan to bring casinos to Lake County, Chicago, the south suburbs, Rockford and Danville will have to start over when a new General Assembly is seated next January

So, that’s all she wrote.

…Adding… Rep. Lou Lang says that “the Speaker was only giving an opinion on a gaming bill override. He didn’t say it was dead.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    Casino’s have a bunch of shiny objects. No wonder Quinn is taking so long…

  2. - Slick Willy - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    Once again, the state of Illinois gets some money and they spend it on what they want (education), rather than what they should (back bills or pension debt).

  3. - nickypiii - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    Video gambling expansion across the state is OK? Casino expansion and making illinois horse racing competetive with other states is not ok? Why? Because Pat Quinn isn’t the brightest bulb to occupy the Governer’s office is the only reason I can come up with.

  4. - Not in the Know - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    It is amazing to see the big concerns with adding more casinos (more stagnant and under strict control) vs. being ok with gaming devices in every bar, pizza place, chinese restaurant, ect….pick your poison. To help bring down the huge pension obligation (key word help…we need a lot more of it)how about alternating years with the money that comes in from Gaming, Lottery, and tollway. Even goes to education, odd to back log bills and pensions. I know, I know….that money is already spent before it hits the books.

  5. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    The problem is no is going to buy the education thing…

    “Isn’t that what the lottery was supposed to do?”

    You want to impress me Pat (doubtful) say every state casino dollar from the new ones goes directly into paying past due bills. Deal with that, then we can talk

  6. - Newsclown - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    I can’t imagine anything the public can do with Pat that would make any difference at this point, unless he’s starting recall petitions against the four tops. No advisory referendum or mail-in-your-whatever- campaign is going to move any legislation.
    He shot his mouth off without considering if he can back it up.


  7. - east central - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    Would it not make sense for him to veto the bill now and to then use his support in bargaining for other legislation (specifically pension-related) after the election?

  8. - Robert - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 1:41 pm:

    I completely agree that any gambling money should go to pay overdue bills. Gov. Quinn could still politically have it both ways if he simply said “First, we’ll use it to pay overdue bills. Then, once we’re caught up with overdue bills, we’ll use it for education” (knowing that there’s a good likelihood that in reality, we’ll need the funds to help balance the budget regardless).

  9. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 1:49 pm:

    Over a decade in the making, and Quinn is going to kill it for what are, IMO, some pretty weak reasons. But putting a crack machine in every corner bar is ok. Yeah, I know, the crack machines were there already, just like there’s already some substantial safeguards built into Illinois gaming that directly address Quinn’s stated concerns. I wonder what the real reason is?

  10. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    The more casinos they build, the less money each one generates. Some new money coming into the state would be great, but my feeling is that the new casinos squeeze out the old ones and the jobs in those areas. Is it a net gain for jobs and revenue?

    I think it’s about 75 years too late to save the horse racing industry. It was America’s only legal gambling for quite a long time and now it is nearly dead.

  11. - Coach - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 9:41 pm:

    The arguement that current casinos will go down with the addition of five more casinos and slots at the race track is a farce! True their profits may go down but they will still have profits! If not they wouldn’t still be in business! For example if a casino made 100 million last year and five casinos were added which brought their revenue or profits down to 60 million that still isn’t bad. Its justlike a town that had two gas stations and each made $250,000 each year in profit then two more stations were built in the same town and then the following year each of the four came away with profits of $125,000 each so its not all bad. The Governor from the beginning has said he would do what the people of the state of Illinois want and it has been stated that the people have approved this gambling measure hugely accross the state but for some reason Quinn keeps coming up with excuses not to sign the bill! Gov. Quinn just sign the bill for the people of this state so we can start saving jobs! I am getting tired of seeing this Gov. cutting jobs!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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