SPRINGFIELD - For years, a Methodist-based group of Illinois churches has been fighting a courageous uphill battle against the expansion of gambling. Their last hope of this biggest expansion brining more casinos was Governor Pat Quinn. Now it seems the Governor is ready to give in to high dollar gaming interests and the strong Democratic leadership pushing for their campaign dollar interests in a state already wrought with corruption and deceit.
ILCAAAP released an alert Tuesday about the upcoming veto and lame duck sessions and yet another social issue upon which Illinois will be choosing the dark side:
Gambling interests and Legislative sponsors have been pressuring the governor to “flip flop” and cut a “backroom deal” on gambling during the upcoming legislative Veto Session. Rep. Lou Lang, House sponsor of the massive gambling expansion bill SB 1849, is hoping for an agreement with the governor. If not, he might attempt an override of the veto when legislators are in session on November 27-29 and December 4-6.
The Mayor of Chicago has made passage of a gambling bill with a city-owned casino for Chicago one of his top priorities. House Speaker Michael Madigan is now saying he no longer has a conflict of interest on gambling and will inject himself into gambling expansion negotiations for the first time in years. The Speaker has assigned his former chief legal counsel the task of meeting with “interested parties” to find common ground and write a new bill.
Gambling interests promise more than they deliver. Governor Quinn and legislators have critical issues to deal with during the veto session, and they have been distracted long enough with gambling expansion that will increase harm.