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Saying the potential risk to state taxpayers is too great, Walker rejected the project, jsonline.com is reporting.
“After a comprehensive review of the potential economic impact of the proposed Kenosha casino project, the risk to the state’s taxpayers is too great,” said Walker in a statement quoted by the newspaper. “Due to the compacts negotiated by Governor Doyle, the current cost to taxpayers of approving the proposed casino project is up to $100 million and the long-term economic hit to the state budget would be a potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester):
“I am extremely disappointed in Governor Walker’s decision today. This is a huge loss to the Racine and Kenosha area. We all have a right to be angry and frustrated that we will not gain thousands of jobs, and an $800 million development will be lost. Unfortunately, we really have one person to blame, and that is Jim Doyle, for forcing the state into this no-win situation.”
Rep. Cory Mason, (D-Racine):
“There are thousands of jobs lost today for Kenosha and Racine because of Walker’s casino decision. He can spin it how he wants, but that is the reality. Soon we will have to watch as those jobs are established in Illinois instead.”
Rep. Tom Weatherston (R-Caledonia):
“While I am disappointed in the decision about the casino, I understand the Governor’s reasoning. We all must do what we believe is best for Wisconsin taxpayers.”
Jim Ladwig, Former Racine County Executive and current president and chief executive officer of Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce:
“Obviously I’m disappointed because a percentage of those jobs were guaranteed for Racine County workers. The reality is that we have to move forward and keep working to bring new businesses to Southeast Wisconsin.”
Caledonia village trustee Kevin Wanggaard:
“I am thoroughly disappointed in the decision made today by Governor Walker. As families continue to struggle to find gainful employment, he has let an opportunity pass us by. Not only would the construction of the Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha bring upwards of 10,000 jobs, it would have increased state tourism revenues. The Kenosha casino’s economic impact would have stretched to Caledonia. It would have been great news for Caledonia, its workforce and tax base. Unfortunately, our economic growth will be stymied to protect the interests of Potawatomi and Milwaukee.”
On Facebook, Racine County Eye readers were also vocal about Walker’s decision.