Republican Rep. Nemes says he'll 'make sure' expanded gambling is an issue in 2012

08/15/2011 04:12 PM

LOUISVILLE — With the next two-year budget and redistricting already on the 2012 General Assembly’s to-do list, one Republican House member says he also wants to see expanded gambling come up.

Republican state Rep. Mike Nemes of Louisville told Pure Politics he’ll “make sure” a bill allowing expanded gambling will be introduced during the 2012 session.

Nemes made the comments after attending a meeting of conservatives in south Louisville over the weekend.

Nemes, who was elected in 2010, said it would be up to “the powers that be” in order for any gambling bill to be heard or passed.

But Nemes said he’s been talking to Republicans and Democrats in both chambers in order to get an expanded gambling bill passed.

He declined to go into specifics, saying that he’s trying to convince some in opposition of expanded gambling to change their mind.

Nemes said he wasn’t sure if the 2012 session is the best time with the next two year budget coming up and legislative and congressional redistricting.

But he said as a state representative he needed to push ideas good for his district.

Expanded gambling in Kentucky was a major platform of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who ran on the issue in 2007. And in Beshear’s re-election bid, the issue has come up less often. Republican Senate President David Williams, himself a gubernatorial candidate, has cited it as a failure of Beshear’s.

Williams has opposed expanded gambling while Senate president. The Senate killed the bill after it was voted out of the state House in 2009. But during the gubernatorial race, Williams has laid out a path for the passing of the bill, if it’s allowed as a constitutional amendment to be voted on, not regular legislation as has been previously proposed.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo has previously said that any expanded gambling bill will die in the Senate as long as Williams remains in control of that chamber.

Meanwhile, Republican, Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville, saying he knew of 19 votes out of the 23 necessary for the Senate to approve a constitutional amendment allowing expanded gambling.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston


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