Gov Quinn on hot seat to sign gambling expansion bill

Pat QuinnOpponents and proponents of the Illinois gambling expansion bill have all grown tired of Gov. Quinn’s stalling. Yesterday, behind Chicago Rahm Emanuel a proponent of the gambling expansion bill, Chicago Aldermen put the Governor on the hot seat as the Chicago City Council passed a resolution urging Quinn to sign the bill into law. The bill would be huge for the state’s casino business and economy.

The governor repeatedly has ducked the issue by saying the bill is “top heavy,” but that argument is getting old. Proponents of the bill are pushing for the Governor to focus on the benefits of the bill. Proponents in Chicago are quick to point out in a struggling economy, the benefits of the bill includes thousands of temporary and permanent jobs, as well as an estimated $140 million a year that Chicago mayor Emanuel has vowed to use to cover some of the cost of rebuilding an aging city.

“Governor, sign this bill — it’s a no-brainer,” said Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd, who has long pushed for a city casino. “You’re talking about laying off thousands of people, and you’re gonna tell us that we can’t put more people to work?” – Chicago Tribune.

Previously the bill had been criticized for being a gateway to organized crime. Mell dismissed those concerns saying, “This is not a mob business,” Mell said. “This business is so regulated. I think it’s one step above or below the CIA in its regulation.”-Chicago Tribune.

One way or another there’s going to be a resolution to this bill.

State legislative leaders are already threatening to force Gov. Pat Quinn to stop stalling and act on the gambling expansion bill.
Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the House sponsor of the bill says legislative leaders are prepared to present Quinn with their own version of a cleanup bill.

The bill hasn’t reached Quinn’s desk, it’s being held by Senate President John Cullerton, who has held it in his chamber allowing time for negotiations. Once the bill reaches Quinn, he will have 60 days to act or veto it or it becomes law.

It’s a delicate balance, many have suggested that the best approach may be to move forward with a trailer bill that addresses Quinn’s “Top Heavy” concerns, yet keeps the original bill’s vote intact. But starting fresh and re-hauling the bill according to bill sponsors, is not an option.

The bill passed the House with only five votes to spare and barely skated through the Senate with the minimum 30 votes.

If Quinn vetoes the bill, lawmakers would need to override his action with supermajorities in both chambers and it would require six more votes in the House and six more in the Senate, which is highly unlikely.