Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Gaming bill passes Senate 42-14 *** Sen. Martwick is in town to vote for the Chicago casino bill
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*** UPDATED x1 - Gaming bill passes Senate 42-14 *** Sen. Martwick is in town to vote for the Chicago casino bill

Saturday, May 23, 2020

* Sen. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago) decided not to come to Springfield because he has some health issues that put him at increased risk if he catches the COVID-19 virus. But the Senate just added Martwick to the roll call and he confirmed to me that he is in Springfield.

More in a bit.

…Adding… “I was told they needed one more vote,” Martwick told me. That one vote, he said, was for the gaming bill.

“They’re not making me go to the floor,” Martwick explained. There’s apparently a gentleman’s agreement not to verify the roll call so Martwick doesn’t have to actually push his button.

“We really need that casino,” Martwick said, in order to keep the city’s first responder pension funds from going completely broke.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Martwick tussled during last year’s mayoral campaign. She owes him a big one.

…Adding… The agreement not to verify a medically vulnerable Senator has precedent. Sen. Bill Haine was very ill in 2017 when he came back to Springfield to vote to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the budget and income tax hike. He never left his office.

But this also means 8 Democratic Senators refused to take one for the team to spare Martwick from returning to the Statehouse (40 Senate Democrats minus the three who couldn’t return equals 37 and the rollcall was at 29).

*** UPDATE *** The Senate passed the gaming bill 42-14. That’s final passage. On to the governor’s desk. And they didn’t need Martwick.

…Adding… Roll call…


…Adding… Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement after Senate Bill 516 passed the Illinois General Assembly:

“After decades of attempts to build a Chicago casino, I’m proud that by working together this administration and General Assembly has secured its future and paved a path forward for hundreds of millions of dollars annually to repair our schools, hospitals and higher education buildings across the entire state of Illinois. I look forward to signing this legislation that provides a reliable funding stream to our historic $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital program, and I thank the bipartisan members of the legislature as well as Mayor Lightfoot for bringing this bill across the finish line. Together, we are creating jobs and rebuilding our state.”

Press release…

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ON PASSAGE OF CHICAGO CASINO BILL

“With critical votes this evening, the Illinois state legislature has passed a bill that makes the possibility of a financially viable Chicago casino a reality. This moment is decades in the making, and represents a critical step toward shoring up our city’s pension obligations, as well as driving huge levels of infrastructure funding and fueling thousands of new jobs for all of Illinois. We are grateful to many lawmakers in both chambers, especially Illinois House Representatives Bob Rita, Jay Hoffman and Kelly Cassidy and State Senators Bill Cunningham and Kim Lightford, in addition to the leadership in both houses - Speaker Madigan, President Harmon, Leaders Durkin and Brady in particular - who were instrumental in the passage of this important legislation. Additional thanks are due to our partners in organized labor, particularly the Chicago Federation of Labor, and its President, Bob Reiter. Thank you to members of the Chicago City Council. And thank you to our fellow mayors, the restaurant and hospitality industries, and of course to the Governor for his dogged and public support of the bill, and we look forward to him signing this bill into law in the near future.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 8:21 pm:

    ===She owes him a big one.===

    This will be a chit held for the right thing, at the right moment.


  2. - Just Me 2 - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 8:26 pm:

    While Lightfoot owes Martwick a favor, as Rich alludes, those other 8 Democrats owe him even bigger.


  3. - Glengarry - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 8:33 pm:

    Be safe Marty.


  4. - RNUG - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 9:35 pm:

    Talk about a blank check …


  5. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 9:39 pm:

    === But this also means 8 Democratic Senators refused to take one for the team to spare Martwick from returning to the Statehouse===

    That’s very disappointing.

    There is a collegial way to these chambers. When it breaks down like that (8 forcing this issue), it’s disappointing to that collegial part of the job.


  6. - Really - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 9:50 pm:

    If Martwick isn’t able to do the job he should be replaced by someone that can. I struggle to understand why there are 8 Democrats that voted no. Wouldn’t want to be them if their district really needed something down the road.


  7. - Boomerang - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 9:55 pm:

    === If Martwick isn’t able to do the job he should be replaced by someone that can. ===

    Damn, that’s cold, dude. We are all struggling to stay safe. Legislators were told ahead of time they didn’t have to come down if it risked their health. He had a pass. He actually decided to risk his health for this vote. He deserves a badge of courage, not a cheap shot.


  8. - Candy Dogood - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:11 pm:

    Gambling is a net social negative.

    In addition to any measure of opposition that might be spiritually motivated, the fact that every single study involving using gambling revenue as a revenue source has demonstrated that it’s a moot point because gaming is a net social negative, I can see why some folks would just refuse to ever support the bill.

    While it’s unfortunate that it puts a colleague in a tough place, gaming revenue remains a net social negative.


  9. - Just Curious - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:16 pm:

    Time to go home.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:21 pm:

    Fantastic. Congrats to MLL and the governor. Thanks to all who are making a Chicago casino happen.


  11. - Lucky Pierre - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:33 pm:

    Don’t count your chickens until a gaming company secures financing to actually build the casino and manage it


  12. - Been There - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:41 pm:

    ===And they didn’t need Martwick.===
    I can imagine his dem colleagues didn’t want to be the ones pointed out for having him come down once he showed up. There appeared to more republican votes on the bill at first but some backed off after there were enough. I actually like this slower vote counting while watching the big board.


  13. - Boog Alou - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:52 pm:

    ==If Martwick isn’t able to do the job he should be replaced by someone that can.==

    He can. These are pretty extraordinary circumstances.


  14. - Frank talks - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:52 pm:

    Considering the House shut down remote voting the days off dragging people to Springfield in compromised levels of health will continue.


  15. - Ferris Bueller - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:58 pm:

    I’m reminded of a similar trek Rep. Golar made to Springfield to cast a vote where she literally left the hospital to vote (and lost her battle with cancer shortly thereafter). There should be a better way.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 10:59 pm:

    === If Martwick isn’t able to do the job he should be replaced by someone that can. ===

    Your lack of humanity and compassion is noted.

    It’s also noted that people doing essential things that shouldn’t have to worry about sickness or worse are still… doing the job.

    The heroes are those now finding infection as a part of what they do for others… as something never a measure that they might not ever thought *was* a measure.

    These are extraordinary times. Acknowledge it.


  17. - Been There - Saturday, May 23, 20 @ 11:21 pm:

    == I’m reminded of a similar trek Rep. Golar made to Springfield to cast a vote where she literally left the hospital to vote (and lost her battle with cancer shortly thereafter). There should be a better way===

    While I have a problem with voting remotely I do remember her coming down. And there should be options in special situations.


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