Gambling measure could start in state Senate and pass, Democratic Sen. Palmer says

12/13/2011 08:14 AM

The Kentucky state Senate could craft a constitutional amendment to allow gambling that would be able to garner the necessary 23 votes to pass that chamber, the Senate’s top Democrat said.

Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer of Winchester said on Pure Politics that it has a good chance of passing in 2012.

Palmer’s fellow Democrat, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, told Pure Politics last week that House Democrats want any gambling proposal to originate in the Senate after the House took a vote in 2009 on the issue only to watch it swiftly die in a Senate committee.

Palmer said the time has come once and for all to deal with the gambling issue. He said he expects a proposal could get the support of all 15 Senate Democrats.

“The people of the state have said loud and clear: ‘We want the chance to decide this.’ We’re not a referendum state. But, at times, there are issues that simply rise to that level. – that are so important and so controversial that it simply is time to let the citizens ultimately decide what approach to take,” Palmer said (5:30).

Palmer, unlike other Democrats, said he doesn’t believe having an amendment on the ballot for voters to ratify in the November election would gin up so much interest among conservative voters that it might spill over to jeopardize Democratic legislative candidates from winning their races. (6:30)

Find out what Palmer says about President Obama’s prospects in Kentucky as well at around 7:20 of the video:

In addition to gambling, Palmer said the legislature should be able to craft a two-year budget – despite problems passing that on time in recent years – as well as legislation aimed at cracking down on illegal drugs and a provision that would make it a felony for someone found to have failed to report a missing child. That legislation grew out of the highly-publicized Florida case of Caylee Anthony.


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