* 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.”