Ill. Lawmakers Adjourn Without Action on Gambling
Illinois lawmakers have gone home without making another attempt at passing gaming expansion.
The measure failed to come up for a vote in the Senate Thursday afternoon, but Senate President John Cullerton said he prefers to deal with the issue when legislators are expected back Nov. 29.
Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan claims opposition from Gov. Pat Quinn and the head of the Illinois Gaming Board likely hurt the bill's level of support.
The measure would allow racetracks to operate slot machines, and establish five new casinos in areas, including Chicago and Danville.
Catlin House Republican Chad Hays voted in favor of it, saying it would be an economic boon for the state.
"This would be a measure that would bring hundreds of millions of dollars of investment to Danville," Hays said. "To me it's really not about gaming. It's about economic development and jobs."
Champaign Democratic Sen. Mike Frerichs said he believes this bill will have better success late this month.
"I think there are many house members who weren't present when the bill was called for a vote," Frerichs said. "I think if they call it again sometime in the future they can pass something. Sponsors of the bill incorporated many of the suggestions the governor had made, and made many improvements to the bill. It should be a better bill, and easier to pass."
Frerichs said he will vote for the bill should it reach the Senate.
Six months ago, a major gambling expansion passed the House but not with enough votes to survive a potential veto by Governor Quinn. Quinn has a number of concerns, particularly allowing slot machines at horse racing tracks.