Gambling Expansion Advances from Key House Panel
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Radio
A plan to expand gambling in Illinois has advanced out of a key House committee.
The proposal calls for five new casinos in Chicago, the suburbs, Rockford and Danville. But bill sponsor Rep. Robert Rita, a Blue Island Democrat, says details are still being worked out.
The House Executive committee on Wednesday OK'd stripping the bill of its language.
Rita said the core of the bill remains the same, but he's rewriting language on tax rates and is working with Gov. Pat Quinn's office on oversight of a Chicago casino. Rita said language providing funds for minority communities will be "similar.''
Rita said he wants to pass the gambling expansion package by Friday's adjournment - but he doesn’t know how the governor feels about the plan.
"I guess I’d like to know where the governor is on this issue. And if the intent is Chicago should be out of this bill, he should say that."
Rita says if the Chicago casino is removed from the plan - it wouldn’t have enough support.
It goes to the House floor and could come up before lawmakers adjourn Friday.
Quinn has twice vetoed gambling expansions.