Governor Pat Quinn says Illinois can't afford to have lawmakers distracted from crucial issues by more talk of gambling expansion. Quinn says leaders at the state Capitol sometimes "get distracted by shiny objects."
He says that can't happen now, when government pensions and health care both need major overhauls. Quinn is pushing plans to cut retirement benefits for government employees, reduce Medicaid services and raise the state cigarette tax. But some officials think a gambling expansion could ease the state's budget crisis. They want to add several casinos and install slot machines at horseracing tracks. Senate President John Cullerton also wants to explore Internet gambling.