There are a number of issues that will get attention from the General Assembly as the session moves on -- gambling expansion is one them. Even though it did not gain much support in the last session, Representative Robert Rita (D-28th), who is sponsoring the gambling expansion package, said this is a way to raise more money for the state, which is facing a projected $6 billion dollar budget deficit next fiscal year.
“The state needs a revenue stream. We’re faced with a budget gap…so I believe this could be part of the solution,” Rita said. The package consists of two bills. The first bill would add a casino in Chicago. The second bill would add a Chicago casino and five others throughout the state, also slot machines at racetracks.
Rita said he is optimistic this package will have more support, as compared to previous years, because Illinois has a new governor.