Stumbo says there is no "groundswell" for expanded gambling - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Stumbo says there is no "groundswell" for expanded gambling

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- It appears Kentucky is not going to see legal casinos anytime soon. Even with one powerful opponent now out of the way, Kentucky's House Speaker says there may not be enough support to pass a gambling bill next year.

When the 2013 session begins in January, lawmakers will have a lot to tackle. But some high-profile issues may not be addressed.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo tells reporters that he still does not see a groundswell for expanded gambling.

"I do believe the Governor is working on a proposal," Stumbo said. "He hasn't shared it with us yet."

But Stumbo says former Senate President David Williams, now a circuit judge, was not the only opposition to casinos in the Kentucky senate.

"I don't believe that Senator Williams was the entire obstacle," Stumbo said. "I think that was a myth. So what remains? Well, there remains 20 votes that you have to get over there, basically. And I don't know that there's 20 votes there."

Stumbo says there may be an effort to shore up state pensions, which are underfunded by billions of dollars. But he does not believe lawmakers will tackle the larger issue of tax reform. The governor's tax reform commission submitted its recommendations earlier this month.

"Does that mean it's dead on arrival?" Stumbo asked. "No. It means the General Assembly hasn't had time to review it yet."

And the Speaker says he would support a bill designed to increase security at public schools, though he says it's primarily a federal issue.

But Stumbo, who calls himself Kentucky's biggest supporter of the NRA, says, after Newtown, it's time to discuss reforming gun laws.

"It's time for America to have an adult discussion about what happened and what needs to happen to keep those events from happening in the future. It's time that we engaged in an adult, reasonable conversation about this."

The session will begin Jan. 8 and, after scheduled breaks, will wrap up in late March.

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