Emanuel Gets Split Decision On Springfield Agenda

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — It was a “split decision” in the state capitol for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during the General Assembly’s veto session.

Lawmakers approved his plan for speed cameras for Chicago, but Emanuel lost out on a bid for a compromise that would finally bring a casino to Chicago and got a no decision on tax breaks for the LaSalle Street exchanges.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that, all in all, Emanuel did okay in Springfield, as speed cameras were his top priority. And he probably couldn’t have done anything about the gambling expansion bill going down in the House.

One veteran lawmaker said the failure of the gambling plan might be the fault of the chief sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who tried the hard sell in Springfield.

“I think he may have taking a little too aggressive tone with some of the members, who maybe have resented that,” Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago) said.

Lang had tried to win over downstate lawmakers with an attack on Gov. Pat Quinn for opposing slot machines at racetracks, which he said would cost their people jobs.

“The first thing the governor said was no help for our agri-business people, no help for central and southern Illinois,” Lang said during the debate of a compromise gambling expansion bill that would have brought five new casinos to Illinois, including one in Chicago.

But the measure also would have allowed slot machines at racetracks, which Quinn has said he would veto, even though sponsors said slots at the tracks would be needed to pass any casino bill.

A key lobbyist said Emanuel himself had made phone calls trying to drum up votes for the measure, but it was too little, too late.

House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) personally broke the news to Lang that the votes simply weren’t there to pass a casino bill that could survive a veto by Quinn and there was no reason to recall the gaming bill for another vote on Thursday.

With the second week of veto session over and the gambling plan all but dead, Emanuel was left to emphasize his lone victory in Springfield, by accompanying school children to a dangerous intersection he hoped would be made safer by the speed sensors.

But he didn’t take any questions about his Chicago casino failing along with the gaming bill.

“We’ll be back and we’ll work on it again, I’m sure Lou is going to continue to work on it, he’s been working on it for 20 years, so whats one more, so it’s not dead,” Colvin said.

Lawmakers might have a chance at passing a workable gambling expansion bill if they sit down with Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe, who has the Governor’s ear and shares his concerns.

“I think that they should sit around the table with the governor’s people and if they want to invite me I’ll be happy to come and express my opinion,” Jaffe said. “And then we work on this bill over a long period of time.”

Jaffe has criticized the gambling plans that have gone through the legislature so far as being too bloated and falling short when it comes to regulatory oversight.

But Lang has said Jaffe and Quinn did not do enough to work with lawmakers to craft workable gambling legislation.

Something else lawmakers needed more time to do before another veto session at the end of the month was to work on a bill creating jobs to go along with tax relief for the three financial exchanges in Chicago – the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The General Assembly is expected to take that up when the lawmakers return to Springfield on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

That still gives the mayor a chance to go 2 for 3 and claim victory. Of course, he was also in favor of major pension reform, but no significant pension overhaul came up during the first two weeks of veto session.

–CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.

More from Jay Levine
  • Ken

    NO to any bill that increase gambling in Illinois. Enough is enough. To argue new casinos will create jobs ignors the far higher social costs that come with it. Let’s not add to our homeless problems, the crimes, suicides, domestic abuses, increased alchoholics, divorces, etc., that often come to those who fall for the gambling addictions. Thanks to those who opposed the corruption that is associatied with gambling.

  • citizen

    The speed cameras will bring Rahm down. Chicagoans will not put up with getting hundreds of dollars in uncontestable tickets in the mail. And this will happen! People will be angry because there are few MPH signs posted. When they are posted, the limits are absurd. Try to drive 20 miles per hour (the speed limit on Western Ave.) when you are by parks. People will rear-end you, honk and flip you off. I have tested this out lately and with the way things are, thousands of tix will be issued on Western alone.

    • Jim Hamilton

      Wanna bet? don’t forget it was the Chicagoans that voted him in lol

  • Jim Hamilton

    Chicago is turning into one huge cesspool of criminals, put a fence around it and take away their right to vote.
    By the way.
    Hi there Chicago it’s me from down state illinois. Hows the anti gun laws working out for ya. When will you idiots up there wake up and see your anti carry laws only dis arm the law abiding guys and keep the bad guys with their guns safer?
    Like hell take my family to Chicago for family fun. Getting them all killed in a drive up like so many others I read about doesn’t sound like fun to me oh yeah and in Chicago the criminals carry guns but I can’t hahaha NO THANK YOU CHICAGO!

    Rahm is more worried about getting those cameras to work so he can catch you hurrying home from the restaurants to use the bathroom than to clean up the cesspool. Why aren’t those cameras watching the neighborhood instead of working people running behind to get to works license plates. Running behind because of the big potholes in the road lord knows they have created more danger than going 5 mile an hour over has.

    Why is Barak even running again? He’s done enough damage.

  • http://www.cdobs.com/archive/syndicated/mayor-gets-speed-cameras-not-much-else-in-slackluster-fall-session/ Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » Mayor gets speed cameras, not much else in ‘slackluster’ fall session

    […] Emanuel Gets Split Decision On Springfield Agenda [CBS Chicago] […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live