Illinois Gambling Expansion Bill Was a No-Go

Slot MachinesIllinois Gambling Expansion Bill Was a No-Go, as Legislative Sessions Adjourned

Last Friday, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its legislative sessions for 2013 without passing the Gambling Expansion Bill filed by the House of Representatives, through its new sponsor Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island). Even before the session began, Rep. Rita announced he would not call the bill for a vote.

Apparently fazed by all the controversies surrounding the gambling bill, Rep. Rita decided not to push the bill in the final day of the 2013 legislative sessions. His sponsorship came only last week, after the bill’s original backer Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) officially excluded himself from any involvement due to perceived conflict of interests.

Instead, Rep. Rita plans to move forward by calling for hearings during the summer sessions, as well as arrange meetings with Governor Quinn, other fellow lawmakers and individuals who could provide real solutions. He intends to present a gambling expansion bill that he describes as responsible and comprehensive, in the forthcoming fall veto session.

The Democratic Representative from Blue Island considers the 500 plus-page bill, as “not ready and not right”. In not knowing the full history of the bill itself, Rep. Rita expressed difficulties in threshing out the major issues surrounding the gambling expansion proposals.

Actually, even if the Blue Island Democratic Representative pushed for the bill’s passing in last Friday’s session, it is unlikely that Governor Quinn would sign the bill; the General Assembly also ended without passing laws for pension reforms. The State Governor has made it clear that he will not approve a gambling expansion law ahead of a pension reform bill.