Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a major gambling expansion today, a move long expected given he had criticized the measure as too broad and too short on safeguards.
The veto killed the legislation 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 would have legalized new casinos for Chicago and four other cities and allowed for racetracks to install a variety of casino-styled games, a move that would have helped underwrite the horse-racing industry.
Proponents of expansion have vowed to keep pressing, but Quinn has been in no hurry, particularly with the state’s $96.8 billion pension debt grabbing his attention.
The bill actually had been passed 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 negotiated 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.
By Ray Long Clout Street
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