Walker extends deadline for Kenosha casino decision

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently announced he is extending his self-imposed deadline for reaching a decision on a proposed Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha.

Walker had originally set Oct. 22 for his deadline.

The governor released the following statement: “Helping the people of Wisconsin create more jobs is my number one priority. With that in mind, I am directing the Secretary of the Department of Administration to commence extensive discussions with the tribal governments in an effort to maximize job creation in our state. Our administration will focus on meeting the criteria set out more than two years ago. We want to create jobs without losing jobs in other parts of the state. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs took nine years to approve an application for a casino in Kenosha. We will not take that long, but we will invest the time necessary to reach a positive solution for the state. I would ask that all of the interested parties spend their time and resources working with the state’s team at the Department of Administration. This will ensure an objective process.”

On the day Walker made his announcement that he was delaying his decision, Walker spoke over lunch at the Greater Milwaukee Committee membership meeting at the University Club, where he touted the state’s commitments to and investments in Milwaukee. Some insiders in the casino debate took that to signal he was trying to build political cover for himself – should he ultimately allow the Kenosha project to go forward in some form.

The Forest County Potawatomi Tribe, which operates a casino in Milwaukee, and the Ho-Chunk Nation, which operates a casino in the Wisconsin Dells, are opposing the Kenosha casino project, which is being proposed by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

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