Some Chicago aldermen call on governor to sign gambling bill

September 1, 2011

Lauren Chooljian and The Associated Press

A group of Chicago alderman are urging Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn to sign a gambling expansion package. The City Council's black and Hispanic caucuses say they want a casino in Chicago to help boost revenue for infrastructure projects and job creation. The aldermen pointed to the more than 600 miles of water main that are more than a century old. They also noted the city needs at least $1 billion to address the public school's infrastructure needs.

Alderman Howard Brookins is the chairman of the black caucus.

"Most of the time you see legislators begging for money from Springfield," Brookins said Wednesday. "We're not begging for money, we're just asking the governor to allow us to make money and have revenue in the city of chicago so that we don't have to go back to our constituents and ask for a tax increase."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said a Chicago casino would create thousands of jobs. The governor has criticized the bill as expanding gambling too much, and has not yet said whether he'll sign it. In addition to a Chicago casino, the bill would add four other casinos, expand gambling at existing casinos and put slots at racetracks.