Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoes gambling expansion bill

March 4, 2013 3:20:47 PM PST
Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a bill Monday in a defeat for the expansion of casino gambling in Chicago and four other Illinois cities.

The veto was expected. Monday night, the question remains: what's next in the effort to bring more casino gambling to the area?

Quinn attended Pulaski day observances Monday and made nary a mention of his veto. It came be way of paper and was no surprise.

Senate Bill 744, which would have paved the way for casinos in Chicago and four other communities, along with slots at racetracks, was left in the legislative closet from two years ago and was run back up the flagpole earlier this year to see where it would go. 'Nowhere' is the answer from the governor who said the bill was "even more significantly flawed ..." than the one he vetoes last summer - that is has a total absence of ethical standards and regulatory oversight", and that it provides "inadequate support for education."

"We are prepared to introduce a new bill that we feel would answer almost 99 percent of what the governor's requests were," said Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan).

It's 'try again' for Link, who's working up a new version of the gambling expansion bill. It remains built around new casinos - the pillar being one for Chicago, and more money for education. The odds of it satisfying the governor, Link contends, are good, but if he doesn't like it, "I think what's gonna happen you're gonna see close forty votes in the Senate for this bill... well over override," said Link.

The language of this new gambling bill is still being drafted, so it does not have a number yet, and Link is not divulging all ingredients; cards held close to the vest for now. However, he says it will be introduced this session.