FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Steve Beshear says it’s “too early to speculate” on whether the departure of Senate President David Williams will improve the chances of getting the Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling.

Williams, an opponent of casino gambling, is resigning later this week to become a circuit judge in southern Kentucky.

Beshear told reporters Wednesday that he’s hopeful lawmakers may approve a constitutional amendment after the Legislature convenes in January.

If lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment during the next session, Beshear said it would then be placed on the ballot in 2014 for voters to ratify or reject.