Gov. Quinn has said he won't even consider gambling expansion until pension reform gets done. (photo used under Creative Commons/flickr)
By Nick Gale
SPRINGFIELD - A gambling expansion bill is on the governor’s desk, but it’s not likely it will become law.
A bill that would expand gambling by allowing the building of additional casinos and putting slot machines at race tracks will likely be vetoed by Gov. Pat Quinn.
“I wouldn’t expect that to become law in Illinois,” Quinn said.
The bill in question passed the General Assembly in 2011, but wasn’t officially forwarded to the governor until the last day of the last legislative session in January. It would have allowed new casinos in Chicago, Danville, Park City (near Waukegan), Rockford, and somewhere in the South Suburbs of Chicago.
Quinn also believes that lawmakers must fix the public pension system before taking up gambling expansion.
“We’ve got to do the pension reform,” Quinn said. “I think everybody in Illinois understands that’s the top priority and so I really feel we shouldn’t be spending a lot of time on gaming legislation until we do the very important work of pension reform.”
Quinn maintains that there must be better oversight and protections in place before he would sign a bill to expand gambling in Illinois. Lawmakers would have to go back to the drawing board and craft new legislation, but could borrow ideas from the current bill.