MADISON (WKOW) -- Time is running out on the Menominee Tribe's proposal to build an off-reservation casino in Kenosha.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) has sole discretion on whether or not the project moves forward and he is holding firm to a deadline of October 22nd for making that decision.
"If you push the deadline back all you do is delay the decision and you get right back to the same point, a day or two before things happen," said Gov. Walker, talking to 27 News at a campaign event in DeForest Thursday afternoon.
Kenosha area legislators are making a final push to pressure the Governor, and the state's other Native American tribes, to reach an agreement that would make the casino a reality.
"I know the Menominee have shown a willingness to work with the other tribes to make this happen and now the Governor needs to show the kind of leadership that's necessary to bring people together and to get to 'yes'," said Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), the Assembly Minority Leader.
The Governor said that's exactly what he tried to do at a meeting with officials from three other tribes that still hadn't given their approval on Wednesday.
"We had some pretty open and frank discussions yesterday. I wish I could say that we resolved everything," said Gov. Walker.
The Governor has said throughout the process that his approval would be tied to the Menominee meeting three criteria: getting support from the local community, getting support from every other tribe in Wisconsin, and a plan that results in no new net gaming in the state.
Those last two have been tough goals to accomplish. The Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk tribes both have casinos within just a few hours drive of Kenosha and have expressed concerns they would lose gaming revenues and jobs.
"You've got very real concerns raised by not only Forest County Potawatomi, who are the closest, but by the Ho-Chunk in this part of the state have raised probably the largest concerns and are probably the most steadfast in their opposition right now," said Gov. Walker.
The other tribe present at Wednesday's meeting, the Oneida, announced their support for the project on Thursday.
Governor Walker said he is asking the other tribes to stay open to any new ideas from the Menominee between now and next Tuesday.
Last week, the Menominee announced Hard Rock International would develop and manage the Kenosha casino, but the Governor says that does not change his criteria for approving the project.
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