Gambling bill fails in state House
BY DAVE MCKINNEY Sun-Times Springfield bureau chief November 9, 2011 6:52PM
State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie). | FIle photo
Updated: November 9, 2011 7:14PM
SPRINGFIELD — A massive new gambling expansion plan that would have put a casino in Chicago failed in the Illinois House Wednesday, handing Gov. Pat Quinn a legislative victory.
The measure pushed by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and establishing five new casinos went down by a 58-53 vote, with three members voting present. It needed 71 votes to turn back a likely veto by the governor.
Lang had incorporated some changes that Quinn had sought publicly but still provided for slot machines at Illinois’ racetracks, which the governor vehemently opposes.
A similar plan passed the General Assembly in May but never was sent to Quinn because of his vow to veto that package.
“This bill is a better bill than the one we passed with 65 votes,” Lang said before his bill failed. “It’ll pay $1 billion in old bills. It’ll put $1 billion into state coffers. It’ll put people to work. We took the changes the governor wanted, even though he wouldn’t sit at the table with us, and put those in the bill.”
Lang kept his plan alive through a parliamentary maneuver, and left open the possibility of another attempt.