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Lang Explains Not Submitting ILL. Gaming Bill

Published: January 17, 2011 12:51 pm ET

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Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association President Dave McCaffrey sounded off last week after the Illinois House didn't call for a vote on the gaming expansion bill to install slot machines at the state's racetracks. Now, House sponsor Representative Lou Lang has commented on not submitting the legislation.

An article on explains that on January 12, Lang chose at the last minute to not submit his gambling proposal in the state House after it had passed the Senate.

Lang stated that last week's events will not stop him in trying to get expanding gaming legalized going forward.

“No one could have been more pained than I about that decision,” Lang was quoted as saying. “I’ve been working 20 years on this project. The last two months I’ve been putting all of my time into it.”

The report cites Lang as saying that his decision to not submit the legislation was based on the nuances of the legislative process. He is cited as saying that there were three reasons he decided to not put the bill up for a vote:

  • First, he said the House had just passed the income tax hike and that left many members feeling uneasy about moving on any other major legislation.
  • Second, with the additional tax income revenue, some members who had reservations about expanding gaming in Illinois no longer saw the need to vote for Lang's proposal.
  • Finally, Lang feared Gov. Pat Quinn would veto the bill.

The article quotes Lang as saying, “My view is that if I had called that bill and it had failed, it would have done damage to the possibility of getting gaming ever because the legislative mind works such that some people will convince themselves to give you a vote on a controversial issue, but if it fails they are going to say, 'I already did that but I am not going to do it again.' ”

He went on to say, “I don’t expect the 40,000 people in the horse racing industry to understand all of this, maybe some of them do, but the decision I made I felt was in the best interests of the long-term ability to make this happen."

(With files from

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