After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session. Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.
Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.
A task force looking for ways to cover Kentucky's $19-billion public pension shortfall will explore the idea of borrowing enough money to bridge the gap through the sale of government bonds. The Task Force on Kentucky Public Pensions is expected to review that option at a meeting in September.
Lawmakers in both chambers have passed a bill aimed at reducing the cost of uncontested special legislative elections. Kentucky House lawmakers passed the measure weeks ago, while it passed the Senate today. The bill was proposed by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to help cut costs to her office and county clerks. State Senator Damon Thayer says the bill will cut back on the multiple voting locations which are currently required by law when there’s only one election and one candidate on the ballot. The bill won’t affect elections where multiple candidates are running.
Governor Steve Beshear’s expanded gambling amendment has failed in the state Senate.
The measure would have allowed for a public vote on whether to legalize casinos in the state. It fell seven votes short of the 23 it needed to move to the House. The shortfall was due largely to fractures in the Democratic caucus.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Senator Damon Thayer, says he’s finished with the issue after nine years of working on it.
After weeks of waiting, Governor Steve Beshear and state Senator Damon Thayer have unveiled their constitutional amendment for expanded gambling.
The amendment allows for up to seven casinos in Kentucky, but five must be at horse racing tracks. The two free-standing casinos cannot be within sixty miles of a track, regardless of whether that track has a casino.