Beshear says gambling revenues won't be factored into next budget, hasn't met with Williams yet

12/01/2011 02:30 PM

  • *LOUISVILLE — Gov. Steve Beshear said he won’t predicate his 2013-2014 budget proposal on gambling revenue like he did for the last budget and said he hasn’t decided what type of gambling proposal he would push in 2012.

Beshear, speaking to the press after a speech at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual conference in Louisville, reaffirmed that he would push some sort of expanded gambling in the 2012 legislative session.

But he said he’s not planning on putting any estimated revenues in the 2012-2014 budgets.

As for what proposal Beshear plans to put forth — or what proposal he would personally like to see — the governor said he has no preference as long as the issue is passed.

The governor said he would be open a proposal that would either limit gambling to horse racetracks or create some free-standing casinos in addition.

“I think our racetracks need to be a part of any solution on expanded gaming,” he said.

Beshear did say he is aware that there may be enough Senate Republicans to pass a constitutional amendment, as Republican Senators Jimmy Higdon and Damon Thayer recently said on Pure Politics.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo issued a statement saying that he expects the Senate to act first on expanded gambling after the House approved a bill allowing slots at racetracks in 2009. That legislation was killed in the Senate budget committee.

“The House has already voted once on this issue, and it is now up to the Senate to act in good faith. If they send us legislation, we will take a look at it,” Stumbo said.

He later issued another statement adding: “However, the majority of the House is on record in working with Governor Beshear to resolve this issue to help stabilize and save our horse industry. In that regard, I will keep an open mind on my approach.”

Beshear said he has not yet set up a meeting with Republican Senate President David Williams, who ran against Beshear this fall.

Both men have talked about meeting since that election, which Beshear won by 20 points.

The governor did say Williams was on his list of senators to meet with before the legislature starts in January.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston

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