House defeats gambling expansion plan

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The major funding source for Governor Rod Blagojevich’s statewide construction plan has been defeated in the House.

The legislation would have approved a casino in downtown Chicago and two other new casinos. It would have allowed existing casinos to expand and permit slot machines and horse racing tracks.

The measure was approved by the Senate in May. It needed 71 votes in the House but failed 47-55.

Money generated from the expansion would have helped pay for a $34 billion capital construction plan.

Blagojevich had challenged the House to vote on revenue measures to pay for construction and support House-backed spending measures that the governor says put the fiscal plan $2 billion out of balance.