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updated: 1/3/2012 3:17 PM

Illinois lawmakers could try for gambling expansion again

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  • Senate President John Cullerton said Tuesday he expects lawmakers to try to expand gambling again in 2012.

      Senate President John Cullerton said Tuesday he expects lawmakers to try to expand gambling again in 2012.
    Associated Press


SPRINGFIELD -- Senate President John Cullerton said Tuesday that he expects lawmakers to take another run at gambling expansion in 2012.

Cullerton took questions from reporters about his legislative agenda at the state Capitol, where he was asked if a gambling plan that included slot machines at Arlington Park and new casinos in Lake County, Chicago and elsewhere was dead.

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"No, not at all," Cullerton said.

The powerful Chicago Democrat said Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan and Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie will have to work with Gov. Pat Quinn to forge a compromise this year.

It won't be easy. While lawmakers approved a gambling plan in 2011, Quinn said he'd veto it.

Then, an effort to send Quinn a different version was rejected by House lawmakers.

"It'll take some time," Cullerton said.

Cullerton used a parliamentary move to never physically send the approved legislation to Quinn's desk because the governor was certain to veto it. He said he'll continue to hang onto it this year, too.

Cullerton also told reporters that while he'd support a ban on the use of cellphones while driving, he doesn't think lawmakers are ready to approve a full ban in the General Assembly's upcoming session.

"You take them incrementally," he said.

Lawmakers are scheduled to begin their annual spring session at the end of the month.

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