Friday, December 12, 2003

Ky. lawmakers say gambling unlikely to win out next year



By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Casino gambling isn't likely to be legalized by the Kentucky General Assembly next year, the Legislature's top two leaders said here Thursday.

Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, and House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, gave grim assessments during their joint appearance before Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce members about the effort to expand gambling.

Both lawmakers said the only way gambling will gain traction in Frankfort is for Gov. Ernie Fletcher, the Lexington Republican sworn into office Tuesday, to make the issue his own. Neither state veteran sees that happening.

"This governor says he wasn't going to get out and advocate expansion of gambling," Williams said. "I don't think the expansion of gambling will be addressed in this session." Lawmakers will meet for 60 working days beginning Jan. 6.

Fletcher has shown little enthusiasm for the issue. He has said he is morally opposed to gambling but would not stand in the way of a statewide vote on legalized casino gambling.

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com




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