With Illinois Gaming Bill Veto, Rep. Lou Lang Questions Gov. Pat Quinn’s “Jobs Governor” Claim

(Chicago) — Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) criticizes Gov. Pat Quinn‘s veto of Illinois gaming expansion legislation, which Lang sponsored, saying the move threatens saving or creating 90,000 jobs.

Illinois Medicaid, Pension Costs Will Push Illinois Bill Backlog to $35 Billion in 5 Years

(Springfield, IL) – A new report released Monday from the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based nonpartisan policy group that focuses on state spending, predicts Illinois’ Medicaid costs will skyrocket over the next five years.

Laurence Msall, federation president, said lawmakers and governors have spent Illinois into a deep hole by expanding Medicaid, which provides health-care coverage to low-income families.

“What is most frightening is that even after the income tax, the state was not able to pass a budget to fully fund Medicaid,” Msall said, referring to a 67 percent personal income tax increase and a 48 percent corporate income tax increase in January 2011.

But even with that additional revenue, Illinois lawmakers still had to pay more than $1 billion in 2011 Medicaid bills.

The Civic Federation report paints a grim picture for Medicaid spending:

  • Illinois is on pace to spend a total of nearly $14 billion on Medicaid this year
  • Illinois’ Medicaid costs are expected to increase 41 percent over the next five years.
  • Gov. Pat Quinn is budgeting only a 13 percent spending increase.

Illinois will see as many as 296,000 new people enroll in Medicaid once the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014.

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WBEZ: Rep. Lou Lang Moving Forward with Illinois Gaming “Clean-Up” Legislation

(Chicago, IL) — With no detailed feedback still from Gov. Pat Quinn‘s office, Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is moving forward with a “clean=up bill” that will attempt to address some of the governor’s public criticism of Illinois gaming legislation that will soon land on Quinn’s desk.

WBEZ radio’s Kristen McQueary has the story:

“Despite delays and debunked predictions—and a never-ending wait for Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision on a gambling expansion bill—supporters of expanded gambling in Illinois say they expect to find common ground by Oct. 25, the first day of the fall veto session.

The bill, stalled for months due to policy differences, political infighting and Quinn’s reluctance to increase gambling venues, remains a top priority.

But the waiting game may be ending soon. Unless Quinn outlines his concerns “in short order,” legislative leaders will present him with their own version of a clean-up gaming bill, known as a trailer bill, that will tighten control over the proposed Chicago-owned casino, according to State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), House sponsor of the bill.”

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Rep. Lou Lang Pushes New Illinois Gaming Expansion Plan

Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

(Springfield, IL) — State Rep. Lou Lang is putting his cards on the table — again.

Under his new proposal, five casinos would be built, one each in Danville, Rockford, Park City, somewhere in south suburbs and then the city of Chicago. Ten riverboats would expand and horse-race tracks around Chicago would have allow slot machines.

“It’s not about gambling; it’s about economic development and job creation,” said the Democrat from Skokie.

Former state Rep. Bob Molaro, who represents the horse-racing industry, said Lang’s bill has a 50-50 chance of passing, because “the time is now,” and Illinois needs that extra influx of revenue.

“You’re talking about an extra $400 (million) to $500 million just from (a) Chicago (casino) going to the state treasury, education or debt relief — and that’s something that we can’t pass up,” Molaro said.

Chicago’s newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants a casino in downtown Chicago, as does Gov. Pat Quinn, who said he wants to “invest in education, bring in more revenue and create jobs.”

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Illinois House Presses for Less Spending in Next Year’s Illinois Budget

(Springfield, IL) — As the Illinois House of Representatives and Gov. Pat Quinn duke it out in the state budget ring, the House is about $3 billion lighter compared to the governor’s spending fund.

From the House’s $33.2 billion fiscal year 2012 budget plan, lawmakers set aside $23.8 billion to fund state agencies and services.

Quinn has a $26.9 billion spending fund for state agencies and services. The governor said the state should not forget about the “fundamental things in life (such as) public safety, health care and education.” He has strongly criticized the House’s projected “radical severe” cuts in education funding.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago this week outlined the House budget proposal’s spending — for instance $12 billion for human services and $8.9 billion for education. The Quinn administration, meanwhile, would hand out $12.9 billion to human services and $9.5 billion to education.

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