Mike Madigan Bets On New Bill

By Margaret Lyons in News on Dec 10, 2007 7:21PM

2007_12_10.slotmachine.jpg

Is Mike Madigan ready to take a gamble? So it seems from a letter he wrote today to state legislators. He said today that he'd endorse a bill proposed by Democratic reps Lou Lang and Bob Molaro that expands gambling—gaming, sorry—and uses that money for roads and schools.

From the AP:

The new proposal includes many of the elements that already passed the Senate in September, including a huge, land-based casino in Chicago and thousands more slot machines at Illinois' nine existing riverboats. Madigan's plan also calls for another new riverboat casino and reissuing Illinois' 10th casino license, which has been tied up in legal limbo since it was approved for the Chicago suburb of Rosemont in 1999. The Senate-backed plan called for two new licenses. The speaker also wants 3,600 gambling positions at the state's five horse racing tracks, something the Senate idea didn't include.

This bill itself would not solve the transit funding crisis in Chicago, but it does open up some additional room to negotiate because downstate legislators had said they wouldn't vote to increase transit funding unless they got something in return. Time's a-wastin, too; the CTA is due for its next doomsday come January, so legislators would need to get both this bill and a transit funding bill through in the next two weeks. Good thing our state government is known for its swiftness and efficiency. Ah, we're trying to laugh through the tears.

[Daily Herald, Trib]

Slot shot by Kubina