Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear today finally unveiled his casino gambling amendment proposal contained within a bill being sponsored by Georgetown Republican Sen. Damon Thayer. If voters and lawmakers approve, the bill will authorise a vote to amend the state’s constitution and allow expanded gaming in up to seven locations across Kentucky.
After a delay that he originally hoped would be just “a few days”, Gov. Beshear announced his amendment which, The Courier Journal reports, “suggests where revenues might be spent but does not require it”. According to the report, such details will be dealt with in subsequent legislation if the amendment is passed. The amendment itself can be viewed here.
To pass, the bill amendment requires the rigorous fight through three fifths approval in both houses — that’s 60 House members and 23 senators – as well as ratification by voters in the general election.
Beshear’s amendment filing today celebrates the four year anniversary of the day when Beshear unveiled his first amendment proposal He must think Valentine’s is an appropriate date for bill proposing). Back then, Beshear was fresh off winning his first term in a campaign in which expanded gambling was a centrepiece. However, the bill, which would have allowed up to 12 casinos, failed after House legislators lowered it to nine. Criticisms suggest one of the main reasons for its failure was timing – with some believing its 27th day of that session was just too late.
However, this year Beshear and Thayer have said they believe there’s plenty of time left for legislators to take up the amendment. Public polling in the state of Kentucky has demonstrated support for the expansion of gambling this year. But the fact that Beshear’s bills have a bad track record is unavoidable, with at least nine bills failing legislative sessions over the last 11 years. Will beshear be unlucky this time?