A top lawmaker says there will be a vote on a gambling expansion bill next week. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says with some input from the governor and the Gaming Board, there is high probability that there will be a bill ready to be voted on in the final days of the veto session, Nov. 8-10.
Click here for summary
“I expect that we’ll have a gaming bill to vote on next week,” Cullerton said after a meeting of legislative leaders and the governor Thursday in Chicago. Cullerton admits that there is still disagreement over what Downstate lawmakers have been pushing for, slot machines at race tracks. He says there is still time to work that out before a final version of a gambling expansion bill is brought forward for a vote. “That’s really the major difference of opinion,” Cullerton said. “The governor’s in favor of a concept that would kind of assess all the existing and new casinos and in effect give money back to the horse racing industry and the horse racing industry would prefer to have [slots at tracks] so that’s really the narrow difference of opinion that’s left and that’s something maybe we can work on.” Lawmakers had passed a gambling expansion bill that included slot machines at tracks, but Cullerton never forwarded the legislation for the governor’s signature, knowing that the governor would veto the bill. Gov. Pat Quinn has offered a watered down version of the bill that does not include slots at tracks and slots at airports, proposals which he said made the original bill “top heavy.”