By Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn will decide whether to sign, veto or do nothing with a gambling bill the legislature sent him at the end of the spring session.
The bill would create five new casinos, including one in Chicago that Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports. The legislation also would bring slot machines to horse racing tracks–something Quinn has long opposed. Lawmakers in both chambers have packaged the bill as a way to provide the cash-strapped state with desperately needed revenue.
But according to Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson, the governor is concerned that there is no ban on campaign contributions from industry representatives. Last year, the Chicago Tribune reported that the industry stuffed cash into the coffers of lawmakers who supported gaming bills.
Speedily building the new casinos would also make it difficult for the Illinois Gaming Authority, which oversees the industry, to properly regulate the burgeoning industry.
Quinn is also reportedly worried that the current bill will not provide adequate revenue for education, something lawmakers also touted as a reason for the bill’s passage.
If Quinn does veto the bill, the general assembly will need a three-fifths majority in each chamber to override the veto.
The all-powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan said if Quinn vetoes the bill there are not enough overriding votes in the lower chamber.
If Quinn does not act on the bill by Aug. 28, it automatically becomes a law.
© Community Renewal Society 2012