Quinn gets another gambling expansion bill

SPRINGFIELD — In the next 30 days, Gov. Pat Quinn will have legislation on his desk to allow slot machines at Arlington Park and the Chicago airports, as well as new casinos in Lake County, Chicago and elsewhere.

Lawmakers approved the plan back in May 2011, but Senate President John Cullerton used a procedural move to block the bill from physically being sent to Quinn’s desk.

But Tuesday, on the last day of lawmakers’ terms in office, Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, released it. And it will be on Quinn’s desk in the next 30 days.

Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cullerton spokesman Rikeesha Phelon said the move wasn’t a last-minute bid by Cullerton to get the gambling plan moving.

“I would characterize it as procedural,” Phelon said.

Quinn blasted the legislation in 2011, so his signature might be unlikely.

Quinn in 2012 vetoed other gambling legislation, asking for more ethics provisions and opposing, at least at first, the idea of slot machines at Arlington Park.

Quinn would have 60 days after his office gets the bill to sign or veto it.

If he vetoes it, lawmakers in their new session wouldn’t be allowed to override the veto.

State Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat, has said that he’ll focus gambling expansion efforts on finding a compromise with Quinn in the coming months.

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John Cullerton
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