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 - By Jodi S. Cohen and John Chase Tribune staff...
By Jodi S. Cohen and John Chase Tribune staff reporters Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Thursday for the first time vocally vocally supported a proposal to expand gambling in Illinois, calling for more than double the number of slot machines and other casino games on riverboats riverboats but vowing to oppose adding any other casinos in the state, including Chicago. Under fire for not setting aside enough new money for education in last month’s budget budget address, Blagojevich said increasing the number of gaming gaming positions at existing casinos casinos will generate $300 million that he plans to steer specifically specifically for schools. The governor said that the additional revenue would boost his proposed new spending spending for prekindergarten through high school by $440 million and that the initiative would help pay for tougher high school graduation requirements requirements he wants institut- ed across the state, including additional years of math, sci- enceand English. But paying for the school initiative by increasing gambling gambling may open the door in Springfield for talk of a much larger expansion as he and legislators legislators struggle to close a yawning budget gap for the new fiscal year. Senate President Emil Jones, (D-Chicago) who denounced denounced the $140 million in new education funds Blagojevich Blagojevich initially proposed as a “paltry sum,” has pushed a plan to build more gambling boats in the suburbs and give Mayor Richard Daley the city- owned, land-based casino he covets for downtown. Although some politicians might see new prospects for cutting a deal on gambling, the governor insisted that he would veto any gambling proposal proposal that goes beyond the one he put on the table. “I will oppose any efforts to Tribune photo by Chuck Berman Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk (left) chats with Budget Director John Filan while Gov. Rod Blagojevich discusses school funding. The governor voiced support for a proposal to expand gambling in Illinois to raise $300 million. State gaming expansion backed to fund schools PLEASE SEE GAMING, PAGE7 it. I

Clipped from
  1. Chicago Tribune,
  2. 01 Apr 2005, Fri,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 2-1

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