Mayor Rahm Emanuel wanted a Chicago casino, badly.
So when Gov. Pat Quinn announced Monday morning he would veto the proposed state gaming bill in its current form, we could only imagine what Emanuel was thinking.
Quinn told reporters the Chicago mayor's reaction was "a pleasant one." And Emanuel followed up with an optimistic statement to boot, saying he was thankful Quinn at least outlined the requirements for a future proposal.
"We are encouraged that the Governor has come forward with a proposal," Emanuel said. "We are anxious to work with him and the leadership in the Illinois General Assembly so that we can soon begin creating tens of thousands of jobs for Chicagoans and make the investment in the city’s aging infrastructure that will secure a successful future for Chicago."
For the most part, Quinn's veto was expected.
The governor took issue back in August with the Chicago casino board having greater regulatory authority than the Illinois Gaming Commission. He argued the gaming commission has been the only barrier to protect the state’s existing casinos.
But Emanuel saw gaming as an opportunity. The new casino would be an opportunity for the city to rebuild miles of new roads and sewer lines, he said, and even rehab the Chicago Transit Authority.
That could still be years in the future, but Emanuel took the governor's back-to-the-drawing-board speech as promise that he could at least start again.