Politics
2:17 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

On Expanded Gambling, Beshear Open to Cleaner Amendment

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Gov. Steve Beshear is considering multiple options in the efforts to get the General Assembly to support expanded gambling legislation.

A constitutional amendment failed earlier this year in the state Senate -- and a major complaint from critics was that the amendment did too much to protect thoroughbred racing tracks over other businesses. The bill banned casinos from being within 60 miles of a race track, unless the casino was at the track.

Next time around, protections for the horse industry don't have to be specifically written into a constitutional amendment, Beshear said.

“But whether we make sure we help the horse industry in the amendment itself or whether we do it in enabling legislation I think is an open question," Beshear said.

"I think that you can make sure some of the money goes to the horse industry in enabling legislation that is passed after a constitutional amendment is passed."

Beshear said he hasn’t settled yet on a  proposal. But he has reached out to other leaders, including Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

The governor said the proposal must help tracks increases purses and breeders' incentives.