Gambling Expansion Bill Passes Illinois Executive Committee
The state of Illinois may be heading for a showdown between its governor and lawmakers. A gambling bill that failed in committee earlier this week, has reappeared and passed on Friday by the Executive Committee.
The committee turned away the measure just two days ago, but by Friday they had changed their stance. Representative Lou Lang is the bill's sponsor, and the grand scale of the gambling expansion has many people, including the governor, concerned. Lang believes the gambling is necessary to create jobs.
Even with the victory Friday, Lang will be facing some stiff opposition when the bill gets to the full House, its next stop. In the proposal, Lang suggests five new riverboat gaming licenses, slot machines at state racetracks, and additional gaming options for existing casinos. It is a massive overhaul of the current gaming situation in Illinois.
The governor has already indicated that he is likely to veto the bill should it pass. That has some in the state wondering why Lang and other lawmakers would continue to waste time on a piece of legislation that has little chance of becoming law. To that, supporters of the bill say that it is a statement.
"Illinois needs new jobs and new revenue streams," said resident Sandy Wallach. "Even if the governor vetoes the bill, it will show that Rep. Lang attempted to come up with a solution to our unemployment problem. That is what I'm looking for in my political leaders, someone willing to take charge and push the envelope."
Quinn is concerned that gambling expansion at that rate will make Illinois the "Las Vegas of the Midwest." For some, that would not be such a bad concept, but for the governor and existing casinos, they are not buying in. With both anti-gambling groups and existing casinos and their lobbyists against the bill, Lang has an uphill battle in the coming days and weeks.
May 28, 2011
Posted By Tom Jones
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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