The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 1, 2013

Another year, no gambling expansion

DANVILLE — It was another frustrating year for proponents waiting for a casino license for the city.

November’s General Assembly veto session came and went without a veto-override of the gambling expansion bill that includes a casino in Danville.

Now Mayor Scott Eisenhauer and other supporters are hoping for a compromise and agreement to be reached with Gov. Pat Quinn in the lame duck session in early January.

Other issues that could come up too are legalizing gay marriage, pensions, medical marijuana and a plan to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

The General Assembly will meet from Jan. 2-9, up until the new 98th General Assembly is sworn into office at noon on Jan. 9.

State Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, acknowledges that the calendar is filling up for the legislators’ approximately five days.

House Speaker Michael Madigan had started discussions on crafting a new gambling expansion bill, but he again has taken himself out of negotiations.

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and other legislative leaders are still trying to keep the discussions and bill process going, Hays said.

“We are making our case with Danville,” Hays said. “We still hope we can put something together.”

The best-case scenario is to get the needed 60 votes in the House, 30 votes in the Senate and Quinn signs it.

Hays, however, puts the chances at 50/50 that the bill will come up and be approved during this lame duck session.

“I am hopeful. We are working hard on it,” he said. “The discussion is very much alive, and Danville is very much part of the discussion. The case for Danville remains strong.”

“We put 11 new votes on it last spring,” Hays added about the bill. “We’re working very diligently on it. That’s our focus right now.”

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