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Quinn Vetoes 2-Year-Old Casino Expansion Plan

File photo of a slot machine. (CBS)

File photo of a slot machine. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Slamming the measure as “excessive,” Gov. Pat Quinn has officially vetoed legislation that would have allowed five new casinos in Illinois, including one in Chicago, after lawmakers held up the proposal for nearly two years due to his promised veto.

The governor criticized the legislation for a “total absence of comprehensive ethical standards and regulatory oversight.”

In May 2011, lawmakers signed off on legislation to authorize five new casino licenses in the state; and allow for slot machines at racetracks, the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and Chicago’s two airports.

However, lawmakers used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the plan from going to the governor’s desk, because of his threatened veto, until the finally sent the legislation to his office in January, when the previous General Assembly was wrapping up its final session. Quinn vetoed it Monday.

“This is a bad bill for the people of Illinois,” Quinn wrote in his veto message. “I will not approve of any gaming expansion without strong ethical standards, comprehensive oversight and dedicated resources for education.”

Quinn vetoed a similar piece of legislation last year, although that plan did not include slot machines for the airports.

The measure vetoed on Monday would have allowed for new casinos in Chicago, southern Cook County, Lake County, Rockford and Danville.

Among other ethical and regulatory standards for any gambling expansion in Illinois, Quinn has been seeking a ban on campaign contributions to Illinois politicians from any gaming license holder or casino manager.

Lawmakers cannot override Quinn’s veto, as the legislation was approved by the previous General Assembly.