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Casino bill expected to hit Illinois Senate floor today; here's what's in it

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In this Jan. 2, 2013 file photo, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, speaks to lawmakers during a committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Years of hostility between state regulators and lawmakers who want to expand gambling in Illinois boiled over during a legislative hearing last week, with the two sides trading insults and accusations like kids in a schoolyard. But once the dust had settled, it appeared the fracas may have served its intended purpose: ending a stalemate between the two sides and addressing some of the criticisms that have helped defeat two previous gambling proposals. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File) ORG XMIT: CX303
Seth Perlman


Legislation that includes a new Chicago casino is expected to emerge from committee this afternoon and hit the Senate floor.

Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has already said it's likely to pass.

Cullerton press secretary Ron Holmes said a recent amendment added to Senate Bill 1739 is expected to bring $1.2 billion in one-time revenues.

At a news conference today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was pushing the legislation, again pledging that 100 percent of revenues from a Chicago casino would go to pay for Chicago schools.

Meanwhile, ethics provisions that Gov. Quinn pushed after his veto of a previous casino plan are included in this version of the bill -- including banning campaign contributions from contractors.

There appears to be some initial support from the governor's office this time around. But Quinn's office made clear on Wednesday that more "improvements" were likely needed as work continues on the legislation.

"We're reviewing the bill. It appears to be moving in the right direction," said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

Here's what's in the bill, according to Cullerton's office:

1. Chicago Casino

a. 4,000 positions: land- or water-based or at airports

b. Run by a licensed operator subject to management contract

2. Ethics

a. New Executive Inspector General for Gaming

b. IGB oversight of Chicago commensurate with all other IL gaming facilities

c. Political contribution ban for gaming licensees

3. Slots at race tracks

a. 1,200 positions in Cook County/ 900 for non-Cook

b. Racinos must be licensed by Gaming Board

4. 4 new riverboats/casinos

a. Rockford

b. Danville

c. S. Suburbs: either Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton or Worth Township

d. Lake County: either Park City, Waukegan or North Chicago

5. Tax rate reduction

a. Separate tax rate for slots vs. table games

b. New tax rates take effect in the fiscal year following the opening of the Chicago casino, but not before July 1, 2015

6. Distribution of Revenues

a. Upfront license fees to fund increased headcount at IGB ($50M), remainder to old bills

b. Local shares to host communities

c. Annual distributions of gaming tax revenue as follows:

i. Approx $13M to Depressed Communities Economic Development Fund (5% of revenue from new boats)

ii. Approx $6.5M to Latino Community Economic Development Fund (2.5% of revenue from new boats)

iii. $5M to the State Fairgrounds Capital Improvement Fund

iv. $5M to DHS for compulsive gambling treatment

v. $6.25M to fund grants for soil/water conservation districts

vi. $3M to fund grants for county & state fairs

vii. $2.5M to fund grants for cooperative extensions

viii. $125,000 to Quarter Horse Fund for purses

ix. $75,000 for botanic garden maintenance

d. Remaining tax revenue to Education Assistance Fund

7. Minority Participation

a. Contracting goals for all licensees

b. Hiring goals for all licensees

c. Reporting requirements for all licensees

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