No decision expected on Kenosha casino before 2014 elections
KENOSHA - Governor Walker is still not ready to make a decision on a casino in Kenosha. The deadline for a deal was supposed to be this month, but it's been extended.
Last August, the federal government gave Governor Walker a year to say yes or no to the Kenosha Casino. He was then given an additional six months which ends next February.
The Menominee Tribe wants to build an $800 million Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha. The Potawatomi in Milwaukee and Ho Chunk in the Dells have opposed the project saying it would hurt jobs and revenue.
Walker tells TODAY'S TMJ4 he doesn't expect a decision before the November Election.
"Our stand point is we are going to take the full amount of time. The federal government took nine years," said Walker.
The Walker Administration was granted a six month extension to study the economic and jobs impact of a new casino.
When asked about Walker's timeline for a decision, Democratic opponent Mary Burke questioned the delay. "Mary would have moved swiftly to get the independent analysis..." said the Burke campaign Communications Director Joe Zepecki. The campaign says if the analysis shows a significant increase in jobs overall, "she would support it."
Governor Walker is waiting on results from those studies but he's also concerned about a potential budget shortfall if he says yes. That's because tribes could stop making payments to the state if a casino is approved without the other tribes signing off.
"We don't want a big budget hole but we want to find a way to add more jobs in the state," said Walker.
The Menominee Tribe has offered to make the state whole on any money the state would potentially lose in the deal.