Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the House's passage of SB 1849.
"It's ironic that on the very day that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced his resignation, the Illinois House would pass a gambling bill that continues to have major ethical shortcomings.
"This new bill falls well short of the ethics standards I proposed in my framework last October. Most importantly, it does not include a ban on campaign contributions as lawmakers in other states have done to keep corruption out of the gambling industry and out of Illinois. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and bordering states like Iowa, Michigan and Indiana have all approved such bans.
"It does not provide the Illinois Gaming Board with sufficient time to make critical licensing and regulatory decisions. This bill also does not provide adequate oversight of the procurement process. It does not ensure clear oversight of the proposed Chicago casino.
"As long as I'm governor, I will not support a gambling bill that falls well short of protecting the people of Illinois. It is clear that this gaming bill still needs significant improvement.
"Finally, Illinois cannot gamble its way out of our fiscal challenges. I urge the members of the Illinois House and Senate to pay close attention to the most pressing issues that we must address by next Thursday, May 31 --pension reform and Medicaid restructuring."