Beshear: Casino issue not dead

In the first of his 13 upcoming town hall meetings, Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday night that the casino gambling issue remains on the table.

A new proposal, if it contains a constitutional amendment, couldn’t be considered until the 2010 legislative session due to restrictions on when the legislators – and then the voters – can consider changes to the Kentucky Constitution.

That doesn’t mean that other gambling proposals won’t be rolled out come January when the General Assembly convenes in Frankfort for the start of its “short” 30-working day session.

Rep. Greg Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat, has already tossed out the possibility of a slots-at-tracks proposal, which it appears might require changing the constitution or putting the issue to the voters.

It will also be interesting to see how heavily Beshear talks about the casino issue in his trip around the state with the town hall meetings, which run through mid-August, and whether that message varies depending upon where he is in the state.

Beshear will be in Owensboro on Aug. 11, which if I’m not mistaken is the only city on the tour that would have had a shot at a casino license in his unsuccessful gambling proposal this spring.

Roger Alford with The Associated Press was at last night’s meeting in Virgie near Pikeville in eastern Kentucky – read Alford’s report in The Messenger-Inquirer or The Herald-Leader.

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