Governor Refuses To Fold On Gambling Proposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Though the chips may be down, Gov. Steve Beshear is refusing to give up on his proposal to legalize casinos
in Kentucky.
The Democratic governor, flanked by about 20 House lawmakers,
declared Monday that the casino proposal still is in play.
"It's still an uphill battle," Beshear said. "I don't think there's any question about that, but it's a battle that we need to fight, and we need it fight it right now."
Antigambling advocates said they were surprised that Beshear still is pressing the divisive issue with only eight working days remaining in the legislative session.
"The last I knew, you don't get a dead horse to move by beating on it," said the Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, head of the Kentucky Council of Churches. "It's not going to get up and trot to the finish line."
Beshear said casinos could help stave off a projected $900 million financial shortfall and severe cuts in government services. Allowing casinos to open, then taxing them, could generate some $600 million in sorely needed state revenue," he said.
"I think it's very clear that Kentucky can certainly use a substantial amount of recurring revenue of some sort," Beshear said.
Although Kentucky has a long tradition of wagering at horse tracks, the state constitution specifically forbids casinos. Beshear wants lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment. If they do, Kentucky voters would get to ratify or reject the amendment in a ballot referendum.
"It is time that we let the people of Kentucky decide this issue," Beshear said during a speech Monday in the Capitol Rotunda.
Dave Adkisson, head of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, urged
lawmakers to approve the casino proposal. He said Kentucky residents already are spending more than $1 billion a year at casinos in neighboring states.
"It just doesn't make sense that we would be sending our dollars, and our citizens with their recreation dollars, across the border,' Adkisson said.
State Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, was among those appearing
with the governor to support the casino proposal.
"It is absolutely essential to our children," said Moberly, chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. "It's essential to our economic development and prosperity and the future of this state."
John-Mark Hack, head of the antigambling group Say No To Casinos, said the proposal still doesn't have enough support in the
House or Senate to pass.
"The governor and House leadership are acting like compulsive
gamblers who just can't quit losing," Hack said. "And it seems now that they're placing a wager on a horse that's clearly foundered."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by EasternUk Chick Location: KY on Mar 27, 2008 at 07:54 AM
    Beshear just needs to quit! Casinos will not help our economy!!!
  • by JOE Location: NORTHERN KY on Mar 26, 2008 at 03:39 PM
    WHY DONT THE GOVENOR AND HOUSE LEADER GIVE UP .THEY ARE DOING THE SAME OLD THING THAT ALL GOVENORS USE CUTTING SCHOOL BUDGETS AND NO RAISES FOR TEACHERS AND NO EXTRA MONEY COMING IN. THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS USING THES SCARE TACTICS ON PEOPLE TO GET THEM TO VOTE FOR THIS GAMBLING . SEEMS LIKE THE GOVENOR IS RUNNING SCARED .
  • by Linda Location: Erlanger on Mar 26, 2008 at 07:22 AM
    I thought the men and women we send to the state government were standing up for the people of Kentucky. If they cann't agree on letting the people of Kentucky vote for or against gambling. Maybe it is time for the men and women of our government to just let the issued go before the poeple of Kentucky once and forall.
  • by no surprise from ky Location: kentucky on Mar 26, 2008 at 04:11 AM
    lottrey is bad enought.wait until i wish they knew what its like to live with a gambler.thousands wasted plain and simple.
  • by Randall Location: Covington on Mar 25, 2008 at 07:45 PM
    Let's hope Governor Beshear convinces an obstructionist senate to allow citizens to vote on expanded gambling. If not, let's change things in November.
  • by NO Location: eastern kentucky on Mar 25, 2008 at 07:38 PM
    Beshear doesn't know the meaning of NO! He must have been one of those spoiled kids that was never taught "you don't always get your way." Tax drinking products...Oh I forgot, gambling and drinking go together.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Mar 25, 2008 at 01:31 PM
    HaHa, you nailed it! Now if we can only get him to drum his fingers and say "Excellent..." :)
  • by Eve Location: Somerse`t on Mar 25, 2008 at 10:29 AM
    Shame on our elected officials and now the pres of KEA for supporting gambling for the "sake of our children". How about our state income taxes, our lottery, our gas taxes....where does it end? No accountablilty and then Mr Moberly speaks out for all of KY. We should be ashamed of the subject even being addressed. Get with it in Frankfort!! Move on with the times; address the budget and support what revenue we have. Politics should be over during a recession. Maybe Mr Moberly is the person who needs to quit "whining". We don't have time for that..!!
  • by Renee Location: Martin on Mar 25, 2008 at 08:02 AM
    The tuition cost in Kentucky has increased by over 70% since 1999. With that increase still growing how much does the Kentucky Lottery help an individual student pay for college. Quote from the KY Lottery site: “Since Fiscal Year 1999, the Kentucky Lottery has provided more than $800 million to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) Program.” For an individual student to get money from this scholarship they must maintain a high grade point average. If not the amount of money the individual student gets is cut. Also, if the student attends a private college in Kentucky and gets a scholarship from the college the KEES money goes to the college not the individual student. The average individual Kentucky student is not getting much help from the KEES program. The large sum of $800 million listed above sounds great. Take a closer look into the program and see how much an average individual student is really helped.
  • by Dean Location: Floyd county on Mar 25, 2008 at 07:05 AM
    Hey Steve, why don't you give Mr. Hung his Million dollars back and this will all be solved? Wait a minute, I guess you've already spent that money so you can't give it back. Well why don't you just go stand on a street corner and try to get it back by pan-handling. Maybe some of your friends will drive by and give you a hand-full of change. Stop wasting the taxpayers money and use it to pay down Kentucky's debt. We don't need a special session to pass this garbage nor do we need one to pass the budget. Wake up and smell the coffee and do what's right for all of Kentucky.
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