It seems like State Senator Terry Link may just get his ultimate wish of a casino in Lake County after all, although Governor Pat Quinn may be a bit of a stumbling block, as it turns out.
Quinn is on record saying he is opposed to major gambling expansion as the bill passed by the State House just yesterday appears to do, with a new Chicago casino and several others, including one in Lake County. Link obviously knows he has some work to do on Quinn, as noted by the Chicago Tribune:
Quinn supports a Chicago casino but has criticized a much broader gambling expansion. "We're not going to do that. I will never support that," Quinn said two weeks ago.
Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, the Senate sponsor of the gambling package, said he and Quinn "started our preliminary discussions, and I think we'll continue those discussions."
It's clear that Link has been fixated on getting a casino in his district for years. Will a Lake County casino be a good thing? Here's your chance to weigh in.
UPDATED 6/1/11 7:00 am: As you probably know by now, the Senate voted yesterday to approve the new gambling bill which greatly increases the number of casinos and gambling positions in Illinois -- now all it needs is Governor Quinn's signature to become law. State Senator Terry Link has already been taking his victory lap and no doubt figuring out how he will take political control of the Park City casino that is provided for in the legislation.
But, maybe not so fast. Few articles I have read so far acknowledge that Governor Quinn has a line-item veto power -- except this one in the News-Sun -- so, conceivably, Quinn could snuff out the Park City casino with a stroke of his sharp pen. That scenario may or may not come to pass -- Quinn has opposed expansion of gambling in the past, so one might conjecture that lopping off some of the 'suburban' casinos with a line-item veto, but passing the main part of the legislation for a Chicago casino, might be an acceptable compromise for him. Of course, even the line-item veto could be overridden by a supermajority of the General Assembly, but if only a few of the casinos were removed, would the disenfranchised ones have enough supporters to make it back through the GA with the required votes? Who knows, until it happens, if it does.