Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » 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 ***
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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…

A federal judge in Chicago has refused to stop a suburban school district from observing a moment of silence, as required by a new state law. But Judge Robert Gettleman today allowed a lawsuit aimed at ending the practice move forward.

*** 2:16 pm *** The Illinois Senate will return Friday for session, according to the Senate Democrats’ spokesperson.

House Speaker Madigan’s press release on his Gaming Board proposal can be downloaded here. His “fact sheet” can be downloaded here.

*** 2:50 pm *** From the governor’s office…

“The Governor also wants to make sure the board overseeing gaming in Illinois is ethical. We haven’t seen the details of what the Speaker is proposing, but we’ll take a look.”

*** 3:15 pm *** Mayor Daley talks about transit and gaming

“To me, it’s pretty clear,” Daley said. “Either (the governor and the General Assembly) support public transit or they don’t. This is do or die time.”

Madigan also tried to get out front of the latest round of gambling expansion talks by pitching a plan for greater regulatory oversight of gambling in Illinois.

Daley, however, offered little reaction to Madigan’s proposal. The mayor said he’s been talking to legislative leaders, but declined to divulge details. […]

Daley also disclosed the results of a survey conducted earlier this month by the City Colleges of Chicago.

“They found out that more than 41,000 students use the CTA to get to school and that most of them don’t have access to other menas of transportation,” he said. “They found out that 14,000 students said they’d have to drop out of city colleges if the CTA cuts go through, that another 11,000 would reduce their coursework or postpone it.”

*** 3:36 pm *** Audio from Speaker Madigan’s press conference can be downloaded here.

Comments closed. Go here for a fresh post.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Just Curious - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    where’s the press conference?

  2. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:10 am:

    forgive my ignorance, is the embargo basically an agreement with the reporters that in exchange for early info they promise not to release it until 1p?

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:15 am:

    Press conference is in Chicago. And, Ghost, yes.

  4. - Truthful James - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:20 am:

    Which is why your subscribers are so lucky.

  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:34 am:

    They’re not lucky, they’re smart. :)

  6. - Anon - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    This is a good sign. It almost looks like negotiation may be taking place. I wonder if Chicago has the details and if it suits the mayor’s liking. I hope so.

  7. - Anon - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 11:29 am:

    As for the vetting, I think its a great idea. For this to move forward, everybody has to feel confident in the integrity of the process.

  8. - Legaleagle - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 11:31 am:

    Why does everyone continue to call it ‘gaming’? My nephews playing their obnoxious X-Box devices incessantly - that’s gaming. It’s “gambling”, and the games are rigged for the house. Let’s change the terminology!

  9. - Lainer - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 11:56 am:

    Right on, Legaleagle. Nerdy teens playing Dungeons and Dragons all night long in a friend’s basement (back in the 70s and 80s; now it’s all done online) is what I think of as “gaming.”

  10. - Common sense in Illinois - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:37 pm:

    Rich, this might be wishful thinking, but is anyone carrying the news conference live?

  11. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:25 pm:

    The Governor should just come out and say - “deal!”, and then be done with it.

  12. - Tom - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:28 pm:

    GoBearsss wrote:
    The Governor should just come out and say - “deal!”, and then be done with it.

    Unfortunately, Blago doesn’t know how to say the word “deal” unless it is immediately preceded by the word “my”.

    Sad really, but true.

  13. - DC - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:32 pm:

    The Governor should just go away and say “deal”.

  14. - Mr. Ethics - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:49 pm:

    Silence is simply the absence of sound. Another dumb law wasting time and tax money

  15. - Levois - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:53 pm:

    I would hate for this new casino to be owned by the city of Chicago rather than a private company. Other than that this deal doesn’t look too bad. Hopefully we can keep it from being too politicized. Too many things are politicized right now.

  16. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    I am still opposed to gamblingas a source of revenue. It ends up shifting the tax burden to the poor, those who are most likely to spend money they do not have, it increase crime etc.

    That said, if it is going to go through despite the harm, this is the best way to do it. This helps reduce the potential for campaign donation abuse to control the board, corruption etc.

  17. - FED UP - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:24 pm:

    I like the new oversite plan. I doubt that Blago or Daley like the ideaof anytype of oversite that they dont control. Gambling if done right is not objectionable to me. I think a casino in the city and slots and video poker at Ohare and midway would go along way towards fixing some out state, county and city funding problems. However the devil is in the details it would be interesting to see how this pie gets sliced up. Madigan has made a opening gesture lets see what blago has in return.

  18. - Lotta Liaison - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:28 pm:


  19. - DOWNSTATE - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:06 pm:

    Oversight that’s a laugh if it’s in Chicago it’s called a Federal Corruption Investigation.

  20. - DC - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:10 pm:

    The Governor’s office is suddenly interested in ethics and the operations of a board/commission? His daily commitment to hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

    The Governor would be well suited to let the others work out the deals of this and just be happy with signing the bill into law. The more he gets involved with it, the less palatable it becomes.

    He reminds me of the Governor in the movie “Blazing Saddles” — Governor Rodney J. LaPetomane!

  21. - Ti-iii-me Is On My Side - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    This should cause sufficient delay; so as to carry this over into January. Where the Governor has dealt the Republicans in, to be used against the recalcitrant House Democrats, the Speaker has just dealt them out, by inserting this “good government” delay.

    There will be much debate about this; behind close doors, while the public debate will be one sided, because how could you come out against a proposal like this?

    In the meantime; getting it agreed to and implemented, should come just about the time that the Republicans shift back to minority status.

  22. - mark/marcus/transituser - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:42 pm:

    So…your best guess, please. It appears that all concerned are now speaking, at least about gaming/gambling/casinos. Does this bode well for a transit solution before Sunday?

  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:10 pm:

    Let’s move this discussion to a fresh post. Thanks.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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