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To the Editor: Open Letter to the Governor
We are calling on you, Governor Quinn, to stop the “closed door” meetings and/or deals that are being cut on gambling expansion and to VETO gambling bills H.B. 4927 and S.B. 744.
Legislators have not passed a balanced budget nor come up with a plan to address the backlog of unpaid bills that impact schools, social services, and other essential public services. Yet, in the shadow of the pay-to-play political trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senate President Cullerton announced in a committee hearing, before the public even had a chance to testify on gambling bill H.B. 4927, that there was an agreement between the four leaders and the governor. Legislators passed the two video gambling expansion bills a few days before the May 31 deadline.
Legislative sponsors tried to deceive the public by saying these bills merely contained “clean up” language to the Video Gaming Act. However, the truth is that these so-called clean up bills are designed to capture and harm the weak and poorest in our state with penny slots, 24-hour, non-stop gambling at truck stops, and will allow gambling near colleges, day care centers and pre-schools.
We urge you to remember your campaign promises in 2002 and again in 2006 to oppose the expansion of gambling. We applauded when you spoke out against the massive gambling expansion proposals in 2007 and again in 2008.
Your long-standing recognition that gambling expansion did not provide a stable revenue source and your position to oppose those sorts of measures, was forgotten last year when you signed the biggest expansion of gambling in the history of the state.
All eyes are on Illinois, Governor. We ask that you safeguard the poor, the weak, and youth in Illinois and VETO video gambling expansion bills S.B. 744 and H.B. 4927.
Thank you for your consideration. You are in our prayers.
Anita Bedell, Executive Director
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems
From the June 23-29, 2010 issue