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Illinois Senate approves legalizing sports betting, gambling expansion and funding for nearly $45 billion capital construction plan

Published on Sunday, June 2, 2019

Illinois Senate approves legalizing sports betting, gambling expansion and funding for nearly $45 billion capital construction plan

“For the first time in many years, we met our most basic responsibility in this state — a real balanced budget,” Pritzker said Sunday during a Capitol news conference. “Just a few years ago, just passing a budget was considered nearly impossible. But this year, by passing a balanced budget, we’ve demonstrated that a progressive, forward-thinking vision is in perfect harmony with fiscal responsibility.”

Pritzker hailed the legislative session as one of the most “ambitious and consequential” in the state’s history.

The collegial atmosphere of Senate Democrats and Republicans on Sunday belied the partisan tensions that existed for the previous four years under Rauner. Republicans joined with Democrats for easy passage of a host of motorist-related fees and the gambling expansion to pay for the state’s first major public works program in a decade — a $45 billion multiyear package of transportation and building improvements — with the opportunity for rank-and-file lawmakers to engage in ribbon-cuttings to show their constituents a substantive return for their tax dollars.

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