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New Life For Chicago Casino Deal

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CHICAGO (CBS) — There is an agreement in the works to bring a casino to the City of Chicago, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

The long-stalled bill to bring gambling to the city got new life Thursday after Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn hammered out a deal that is palatable to the governor.

Quinn has vetoed gambling expansion legislation in the past, sending the bill back to lawmakers for revisions.

He opposed the previous bill largely on the basis that the plan failed to properly control gambling in Illinois.

The deal was brokered by Senate President John Cullerton, and the bill could come up for a House vote later Thursday.

The gambling bill is not the only issue legislators in Springfield are working on before they adjourn. Right now the legislators have very full plates. CBS 2’s chief correspondent Jay Levine takes a look at the key issues and where they stand.

First and foremost pensions, which threaten to bankrupt the state. CBS 2’s Jay Levine is hearing there’s been progress toward getting behind one of the two competing bills.

The bill to allow concealed carry of firearms is being reloaded by a new sponsor with a compromise to satisfy downstate lawmakers.

And finally marriage equality. We’re told will be voted on, as demanded by its supporters who gathered outside Mike Madigan’s office a short time ago.

“I do believe that Springfield will meet its obligation on pension reform because so much is riding on dealing with these issues. Denial is not a long-term strategy,” said Emanuel.

When asked if there has been any movement toward a comprise, said State Rep. Elaine Nekritz said, “It’s tough. between the two theories as to constitutionality, it’s very touch to achieve more of a compromise and so I think at the end of the day we’ll have to just figure out a way it’s going to sort of be an either or.”

“Right now it’s up to the whoever makes the decision to put the bill up on the board is going to be the person doing that, and that’s going to be either Speaker Madigan or John Cullerton.”

While pensions and gaming would appear to be two separate issues, one not related to the other, the apparent deal CBS 2 learned has been reached between the Mayor and the Governor on gaming, a Chicago casino and ethics issues, could indicate progress on pensions, given the Governor has said repeatedly he wouldn’t even consider signing a gaming bill until he had a pension bill on his desk. Apparently he feels, like many others, that it could be on its way.