This just in… Madigan wants broad gaming reforms before any expansion *** Judge refuses to issue TRO against silence law *** Senate to return Friday *** Guv says he’ll “take a look” at Madigan plan *** Daley talks transit, gaming ***
Monday, Oct 29, 2007
* 9:56 am - House Speaker Michael Madigan is holding a 1 o’clock press conference this afternoon to discuss “gaming.” No further info was supplied. There’s an 11 o’clock briefing for reporters, but the info from that briefing will be embargoed until after the press conference starts, so make sure to check back around oneish.
* 1:09 pm - The press conference has begun, so the embargo is now lifted.
What Madigan is talking about today are specific reforms that he wants to see implemented before he will sign on to any casino expansion. This is the biggest indication yet that we are moving towards an expansion bill, but when that might pop is still anyone’s guess, and this might even be a bit of a poison pill.
Madigan says he wants an “independent” Gaming Board. He wants a “nomination” panel to recommend nominees to the governor, who would then choose from that pool. The nine-member panel would be appointed by the IL Supreme Court. Of those, two would be former federal or state judges; two formal federal prosecutors from IL, one former sworn federal officer with investigatory experience, two former members of federal agencies with experience in regulartory oversight, and two more with at least 5 years’ experiene with nonprofit agencies in Illinois “committed to public-interest advocacy named after soliciting recommendations from the Campaign for Political Reform, Better Government Association, Chicago Crime Commission and League of Women Voters.
The new Gaming Board would be funded directly by the casinos via a fee in order to take it out of the annual budget wranglings. There would be much tougher ethics standards, including five-year revolving door prohibitions. Also, ex parte communications involving any issue would be prohibited, including with the governor and the Senate and their staffs except during open meetings.
* 1:20 pm - There will be no temporary restraining order in the first federal lawsuit filed against the state’s new “moment of silence” law…
*** 2:16 pm *** The Illinois Senate will return Friday for session, according to the Senate Democrats’ spokesperson.
*** 2:50 pm *** From the governor’s office…
*** 3:15 pm *** Mayor Daley talks about transit and gaming…
*** 3:36 pm *** Audio from Speaker Madigan’s press conference can be downloaded here.
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