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."
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday he appointed his chief Republican rival in the Legislature to a judicial post because he was the best qualified applicant for the job, not because getting him out of the way would improve the chances of legalizing casino gambling in the state.
Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week. Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling his main priority.
This year, he attempted to pass a constitutional amendment dealing with the issue through the state Senate. The bill fell seven votes short of passage in a vote that critics say should be the end of the issue. But Beshear says the vote gave more resolve to the business leaders and horse racing interests who back the idea.