Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers must get back to work on a gambling expansion bill that isn’t top heavy and has proper regulations in place. Quinn says lawmakers should more closely follow a framework he laid out that excludes slot machines at race tracks. “That’s the way to do better and we have a good framework that would make sure that integrity is always protected in Illinois, that we scale back the expansion of gambling so that it’s reasonable and moderate and not excessive and that we use the proceeds for good things,” Quinn said.
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Downstate lawmakers say without a provision to allow slot machines at tracks, the horse racing industry would die. Meanwhile, some legislators who are proponents of the revamped, scaled back gambling expansion bill are upset with Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe. During the veto session, Jaffe called the latest bill “a pile of junk.” Jaffe was critical of the original bill as well. Asked if the newly re-appointed Jaffe would be confirmed by lawmakers, Quinn said he hopes so. “I think he’s done a good job,” Quinn said. “I think the people of Illinois are indebted to Judge Jaffe for doing a good job at a very important place.” Asked about Jaffe’s criticism of the latest gambling expansion bill, Quinn said Jaffe has experience in the matter and is glad he is speaking about the issue. Lawmakers will be back in Springfield Nov. 29, where they will focus on tax incentives for businesses. It is not yet known if a gambling bill will come up after Thanksgiving.