Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013 session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering. A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.
Neither point assures passage of a gambling bill and there are still tons of details to work out. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he thinks the issue has new life in 2013.
“It at least gives I think at the opportunity for a new dialogue to take place as to what might be possible, what might to able to pass both chambers,” Stumbo said.
Stumbo said he’s no longer requiring any gambling bill has to start in the Senate for his chamber to consider the issue. The House previously passed a gambling bill in 2009.
“That line the sand doesn’t need to be drawn anymore probably," he said. "I think obviously now that President Williams has moved on, it gives us a chance for a new dialogue and if we can find some common ground that we can agree upon I don’t care if it’s a House bill or a Senate bill."
But Stumbo’s openness doesn’t mean passage is imminent, since many in the Senate still reject the idea of allowing gambling. And supporters of the issue have yet to find a proposal to appeal to both House and Senate members.