Your Illinois News Radar Lightfoot on gaming bill failure: People came out of the woodwork with their ‘letters to Santa’ – The Capitol Fax Blog

Posted: December 18, 2019 at 2:47 am

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* Cole Lauterbach at the Center Square on Mayor Lori Lightfoots unsuccessful veto session bid to change the state gaming law to help Chicago land a casino

But her lobbying efforts hit a roadblock when news broke that a state lawmaker had been arrested for allegedly offering a state senator who had been wearing a federal wiretap a series of bribes in exchange for supporting another piece of gambling legislation.

It didnt help that, on the very first day of veto session, there was a criminal charge announced of a legislator around gaming, Lightfoot told the Economic Club of Chicago. I felt like at that point we may not even be in the conversation.

As the veto session came to a close, it became clear that Lightfoot would come up short. She revealed Tuesday just how close it was.

By our whip count, we had fifty-five votes in the House and we needed sixty so we were close despite those odds, she said.

One of the difficulties she said her team ran up against was a legislative effort to add what she called tinsel to the Christmas tree, or markup the bill with add-ons they wanted.

They saw this piece of legislation, particularly around casinos, as their one opportunity to get something that they felt they were promised, she said. People came out of the woodwork with their letters to Santa.

The impetus for the change in the already passed gambling legislation was a report that said the tax and fee structure for a Chicago casino was too high to attract a developer.

Lightfoot said she was confident an agreement could be reached when lawmakers return to Springfield in 2020.

Legislators were, indeed, asking for a lot of stuff. Some thought they had an agreement with the mayor and then others jumped in when they saw goodies being passed out.

Its never easy to pass a gaming bill, particularly a stand-alone bill like this one which the mayor tried to muscle through in a hurry.

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Your Illinois News Radar Lightfoot on gaming bill failure: People came out of the woodwork with their 'letters to Santa' - The Capitol Fax Blog

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December 18th, 2019 at 2:47 am

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