Mayor Seeks “Common Ground” With Quinn on Casino Bill

After months of trading public barbs over a bill that would expand casino gambling in the state, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday said he and Gov. Pat Quinn had a "good conversation" and expressed hope that "common ground" could be found.

"I’ve never said, 'My way or the highway.' That’s not how I do my things,' Emanuel said during a Q&A with reporters after an announcement that professional services firm Ernst & Young was adding 500 new jobs to Chicago.

Quinn on Monday expressed his intention to veto the expansion bill, which would allow slot machines at airports and horse racing tracks, if it reached his desk in its current form. He said it would over-saturate the state with gambling, short-changes education funding and fails to provide adequate oversight for the Illinois Gaming Board.

The bill, approved by the state legislature in May, still has not been sent to the governor's desk, an indication that legislators likely knew it wouldn't be signed.

Still, that didn't stop Emanuel from making plans with the money that would flow into city limits with the new gaming slots, a move to which the governor didn't take kindly.

Emanuel said he was glad Quinn finally "put a position out" and said a revised bill could be introduced to the Illinois Senate by Friday.

"He's laid out a couple of positions as it relates to expansion. He's laid out a position as it relates to oversight, which I’m for. Now that he’s laid out some positions, you’ll see the proponents down in the Legislature lay out their reforms to the original bill and that’s how you find common ground," said Emanuel.

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