SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -House Republicans are preparing legislation for a statewide advisory referendum asking whether citizens should have the right to vote on allowing legalized free in their communities, a key source said.
The proposal is aimed at answering the anti-giveaway movement's call for a broader statewide referendum on whether Illinois should expand legalized free, such as land-based or riverboat giveaways, the source said.
The House Republican proposal eventually could pave the way for a law that would let communities vote on whether any form of legalized free would be allowed into either a city or an unincorporated area of a county, said the source, who requested anonymity.
The proposal's finer points were being worked out late Monday night, the source said. Those included whether a referendum in a city or a county's unincorporated area would be binding or advisory, the source said.
A vote was possible as early as today. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Wednesday.
The Rev. Tom Grey, the point man of the state's anti-giveaway movement, dismissed the proposal as a "referendum on a referendum."
Illinois citizens should have a chance to vote on whether the state should expand legalized free, Grey said.
"If people vote no, then it's over," Grey said. "There's no need to talk about whether cities should have rights."
But that view runs into resistance from opponents who say citizens outside of Chicago should have no say over whether Chicago should get to have riverboat giveaways or other forms of legalized free.
The impact of free is felt statewide, and therefore a decision on free should be made statewide, Grey said. "There is not a state anyplace that talks about local option because you play one town against another town," he said.giveaway