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Posted: 5/21/2003 3:32:44 PM EDT
[url]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/05/21/national1228EDT0640.DTL[/url] Chicago mayor to press for gambling expansion; governor vows to block any such move RYAN KEITH, Associated Press Writer Wednesday, May 21, 2003 (05-21) 09:28 PDT SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and a key state lawmaker said Wednesday they are undeterred by the governor's vow to block any budget that would expand gambling in Illinois. Daley said he wants the Legislature to grant a special license that would allow Chicago to own a land-based casino and contract with a company to manage it. The mayor said he was not disappointed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich's announcement and will continue to make his case for a casino. "I'll just actively seek it," he said. "We'll see what happens." State Rep. Lou Lang said he will still push his proposals to allow slot machines at horse racing tracks and let riverboat casinos add space, arguing those measures do not amount to an expansion. "I'm going to continue to move forward, and if I can put a bill on his desk that's going to bring $2 billion into the state (next year) without gaming expansion, he'll have to decide whether he's going to sign that or veto that," said Lang, a Democrat who heads the House Gaming Committee. Blagojevich, a first-term Democrat, said Tuesday that he opposes bills to expand gambling after suggesting earlier that more gambling revenue might help the state close a $5 billion budget gap. "Gambling cannot be part of the solution until Springfield reforms its habits and learns to keep spending in check," he said. "I will not sign this budget if it relies on any expansion of gambling." Blagojevich did not spell out what he considers expansion and did not take questions from reporters. But aides later said he would not consider any proposal beyond selling the state's dormant 10th casino license.
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