WKU Public Radio News Staff
Expanded Gambling in Kentucky
Tue February 21, 2012
Anti-Gambling Rally Hits Frankfort a Day Ahead of Committee Vote
Pastors and concerned citizens in Kentucky are taking their fight against expanded gambling directly to the Capitol. Led by the Reverend Hershel York, opponents of Governor Steve Beshear’s gambling amendment flooded Frankfort Tuesday in protest.
They filled hallways and lobbied legislators to vote no on the amendment, then gathered in the Rotunda for a larger rally.
And it was at the rally that York clearly let lawmakers know the group's feelings.
“Make sure they hear ya, how do you want them to vote? No to expanded gambling, no to destroying Kentucky’s families, no to hurting our children, no to unfairly breaking the backs of our economy," York said.
If the amendment passes, it would go to the fall ballot for a public vote. Beshear and other advocates of the amendment say they simply want citizens to vote on the issue.
But York rejects that idea, saying a vote for the amendment is a vote for gambling, not for a public referendum.
“Any legislator that says I’m personally opposed to expansion of gambling but I’m gonna vote yes in order to let the people of decide has just confessed to his constituency that he or she is a lair,” York says.
The amendment is expected to come up in Wednesday's Senate State and Local Government Committee.
Beshear is expected to testify but it’s not certain if the measure has enough support to pass the committee.