Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There has been a lot of talk about expanding gambling Illinois as part of the State’s new budget as away to increase the State’s revenues with out raising taxes, according to rumors there may be as many four new land based casinos, expansion of existing river boats, slot machines at race tracks, phone betting and sport booking making. While I have no problem with the legalization of gambling in Illinois is with the state licensing system for casinos and reports that one of the casinos may be owned by the city of Chicago. The Illinois licensing system has already been shown to produce corruption and problem with owner with question background and political ties, as can be seen by the troubled current ten licenses for a river boat casino that original was going to be in Rosemont, which has not been used yet because of legal problems. With Chicago history of corruption and ties between government official and criminal elements does anyone think that it is a good idea to give the city of Chicago ownership of a casino?

Another questionable piece of legislation tied to the expansion of gambling would give 10 million of the 40 million dollars expected in revenue from the 10 gaming license to go Chicago State University with the remaining 30 million being split between all of the other state universities. One has to wonder why Chicago State, which has only 6,000 students and is the small of the state universities, should get a quarter of the new revenues and far more than the larger state universities. The only possible reason could be the strong ties between Chicago State and Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones.

Tonight the Illinois State House of Representatives is set to pass a budget that is very low in spending growth that would include 290 million dollars more in funding for schools and in increase in State revenues of 1.1 billion, 800 million of which would come from growth of State revenues due to increase tax revenues from economic growth and the remaining 300 million would come from the proposed closing of tax loop holes. While this budget doesn’t include spending cuts and reforms that the State direly needs, it is far better than the massive increases in spending that the Governor want and the economy crippling taxes that would come with it. There is going to have be some major changes in the leadership and make up of the State General Assembly before we see the fiscal changes that the State needs and the tax payer deserve.

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