SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a major gambling expansion today in a move that's been long expected, but a new version will be surfacing soon.
The new legislation once again would allow a casino in Chicago and four other sites around the state as well as install slot machines at racetracks, said Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, who sponsored the bill Quinn just vetoed.
Link said a new bill would be “coming pretty rapidly…. The governor may even like it.” Link said the new bill would tighten regulations, something Quinn long insisted were too weak in the bill he vetoed. Link also said his new bill would likely have a ban on campaign contributions from gambling interests — another component that Quinn had pressed to include.
The senator said the reason to keep pushing for the legislation is “revenue, revenue, revenue,” saying he hopes Quinn weighs in on the matter during his budget address Wednesday.
Link could seek to advance gambling legislation during a committee hearing this week, but he said he is unsure whether he will ask for a vote then.
Quinn’s veto killed the legislation he had before him today without an opportunity for the General Assembly to override it. That’s because a new General Assembly has been seated since the bill was sent to the governor, and only lawmakers from the same legislative session can override a governor’s veto.
The bill Quinn vetoed would have legalized casino gambling for Chicago and four other locations as well as put slots at racetracks.
Quinn has been in no hurry to push forward on gambling expansion, particularly with the state’s $96.8 billion pension debt grabbing his attention.
The bill he vetoed had actually passed on May 31, 2011, but Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, had used a parliamentary motion that prevented the bill from going to Quinn. It was viewed for a time as a potential way to negotiate an agreement with Quinn, but that did not materialize. Cullerton finally released the bill as the lame-duck session of the former General Assembly ended.