Lawmakers Consider Gaming Expansion Proposal

The Illinois General Assembly may take another run at adding five new casino licenses to help ease the state budget crisis and create thousands of new jobs. publisher Rich Miller leads off this week’s program with insights into recent discussions between lawmakers and the Governor’s office on casino gaming expansion and reforming the state’s Medicaid and pension systems.  Next, Senate President Cullerton (D) Chicago, in a newsmaker interview, tells Jak Tichenor lawmakers are putting the final touches on plans to rescue the state’s chronically underfunded pension systems and reduce Medicaid spending by $2.7 billion through program cuts and efficiencies while raising the state cigarette tax.  Cullerton also discusses new attempts to pass a gaming expansion package this session as well as creating the framework for Illinois to become a worldwide hub for internet gaming.  Later, State Rep. Lou Lang (D) Skokie and Sen. Darrin LaHood (R) Dunlap, debate the pros and cons of gaming expansion.  Lang, the House Democrats point person on gaming, says expanding gambling is the only realistic way to create new revenue for the state at this time while LaHood is concerned about the societal costs of additional gambling.

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