CHICAGO — After months of acrimony, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn made nice over the city’s casino aspirations Friday.
Emanuel said the two were “very close” to agreeing on a bill that would allow a casino in Chicago and said the two agree on the need for strong oversight of the casino — a key sticking point in the past.
The two men, appearing at an unrelated news conference, had been at odds over the bill for months. But Quinn said he met with Emanuel last week about the casino plans and said he expects to have a bill sent to him by Jan. 9. He also said the two are in agreement that revenue from the casino would go toward improving the city’s school system, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, known collectively as STEM.
Emanuel emphasized that cash raised from a casinoes will help modernize and build schools, providing jobs in the process.
It has been a rocky road for the casino, with Quinn vetoing a gambling bill in August that would have paved the way for a gambling venue in the city. He cited a lack of regulations and oversight.
Emanuel countered by claiming the state would lose “$20 million a month and countless jobs” to Indiana casinos.
The two did not get into specifics about the bill Friday, but the chilly relationship between the two appeared to warm.
“I believe we are very close,” Emanuel said. “This has been 25 years in the making.”