Monday is the first day of the fall veto session. This is the time when the lawmakers take a second look at legislation and any revenue issues. Riverboat gambling is said to be on the list.
Senate President Emil Jones plans to introduce legislation to expand riverboat gambling, but there are also many local efforts being made to get a casino in Rockford.
There are still many unresolved issues in Springfield. The first is just how many licenses are up for grabs. In a prior proposal “4” was the magic number and that included a casino in Chicago that Gov. Rod Blagojevich opposed.
Tuesday, Rockford Mayor Doug Scott is heading to Springfield to lobby for our community to get one of the licenses, but Scott says so far in this veto session there is no proposal on the table again.
The Mayor says without knowing what the governor's stance is it will be very hard to pass anything through the Legislature, but 14th Ward Alderman Dan Conness says the city needs to look ahead. Monday night he introduced a resolution that any revenue from a casino should go towards redevelopment and job creation, a step both Scott and Conness say is a good move.
Mayor Scott says, “I think we will be in the bill if there is one, but this helps to show them that we are serious about how we are doing this and approaching it in a way that they are trying to use revenue from the state.”
14th Ward Alderman Dan Conness tells 23 News, “What this will do is encourage people to want to bring business here which will create short term jobs in construction and long term jobs by businesses who want to create a company here.”
This resolution would prevent any money that could come from a casino to go towards the city’s general fund.