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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have re-opened talks on a bill to expand gambling, but many of the concerns that doomed earlier proposals remain.

   The House Executive Committee held a hearing Wednesday on a measure to add five casinos and allow slot machines at Chicago's major airports. The bill passed the Senate in the spring but didn't get a House vote.

   Bill sponsor Rep. Robert Rita is a Blue Island Democrat. He says he'll work to address concerns. They include whether there's sufficient oversight of a Chicago casino and how new revenue would be shared.

   Both the House and Senate have adjourned for the week. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield for the second week of the fall session in early November.

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are returning to the state capitol for a second day of their annual fall veto session.

   After getting off to a sputtering start Tuesday, the schedule on Wednesday is shaping up to include a hearing on gambling and more requests by state agencies for additional funds.

   Horsemen and officials from the Illinois racetracks want lawmakers to authorize a law that allows for online betting. And lawmakers are reviving talks on a larger gambling bill that stalled this spring.

   Tuesday also saw a gay marriage rally as part of an effort to make such unions legal in Illinois.

   Lawmakers have yet to address the state's $97 billion pension shortfall and tax incentives aimed at keeping Archer Daniels Midland Company's global headquarters in Illinois.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A key Illinois House committee has advanced legislation to add five new casinos and scores of slot machines. But the sponsor is working on rewriting language on tax rates and oversight of a Chicago casino before the full House takes a vote.

Governor Pat Quinn has vetoed two earlier measures to expand gambling.

 

Published in Local News

 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The longtime promoter of expanding Illinois gambling has taken his name from a bill over "perceived conflict of interest" with his law firm.

In a statement released Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says there've been no violations, but not only is his name off the gambling bill, he may not vote when it comes to the House floor.

Lang is counsel for Odelson and Sterk, an Evergreen Park firm hired by Rockford. The city is one of five that would get a casino if lawmakers approve pending legislation. Rockford officials have said there's no connection.

Lang says his actions have been respectful of laws and ethical rules. He declined to comment Tuesday beyond the statement.

Democrat Rep. Robert Rita is now the gambling bill's sponsor.

Published in Local News

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