Friday, December 14, 2007

House cancels legislative session on gambling, transit

From Crain's Chicago Business...
Legislative feuding claimed another casualty Friday as House Speaker Michael Madigan canceled a session planned for next week on gambling expansion and blamed other leaders and the governor for more delays.
Blagojevich responded by saying he intended to call lawmakers back to work next week anyway.

Madigan earlier this week announced the House would return Monday to consider his massive gambling expansion proposal to fund statewide construction projects, along with aid for mass transit systems in and around Chicago.

But Friday afternoon, Madigan said he and Republican Leader Tom Cross decided to cancel the session because Blagojevich and other leaders aren't backing Madigan's proposed overhaul of the Illinois Gaming Board.

"Other legislative leaders and Governor Blagojevich have neither endorsed this proposal nor offered a sensible, equally stringent alternative," Madigan wrote in a letter sent to lawmakers. "To say the least, this is a puzzling state of affairs."

The back-and-forth comes as pressure builds for lawmakers to act on the two issues heading into the holidays.

Mass transit systems face major cuts in January if no state help is provided, but many Downstate lawmakers don't want to vote to help Chicago's transit systems without getting construction projects for their areas.
OK, I hope the transit riding public is paying attention. The political establishment in Springfield might need us to talk loudly here.

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