As mayors in Danville, Rockford and Chicago push for casinos in their cities, Gov. Pat Quinn says there are flaws in the gambling bill that must be worked out. Quinn has been opposed to the current bill which would add five new casinos and slot machines at race tracks. He contends that there are not enough provisions in the bill’s current form to uphold integrity. One of his concerns deals with campaign contributions. “Clearly we have to ban campaign contributions from the gambling interests,” Quinn said. “We can’t have them running up and down the halls of the legislature or the halls of City Hall here in Chicago handing out campaign money to politicians. I think that’s a prescription for disaster.”
Click for Summary
Asked if a proposed follow-up bill that would address some of Quinn’s concerns was a viable option, he says separate legislation in not an option. “The ship does not leave unless it has all the cargo. We don’t leave without all the cargo,” Quinn said. “We aren’t going to pass some slipshod legislation that doesn’t include all of the oversight, all of the cargo when it comes to integrity in the Illinois government.”
Quinn says any legislator who wants to put up a bill without complete ethics oversight is “barking up the wrong tree.”
Unlike last year, when a gambling expansion bill was passed but not sent to the governor out of fear he would veto the measure, lawmakers are expected to forward this bill to the governor by the end of the month. Lawmakers supportive of the legislation say they are eager to work with Quinn to find a compromise on his concerns.