After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session.
Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.
Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.
Plagued by strained relations with the former Republican leader of the state senate, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said he expects a better rapport now that a new GOP leader is in place. Beshear told reporters Friday he's "excited" about the prospects for collaboration.
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.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling in Kentucky start in the Senate. "That line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn anymore," Stumbo told reporters during a Capitol press conference on Thursday. "I don't care if it's a House bill or a Senate bill."