Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he’s open to calling a special session to address the state budget shortfall and the horse industry.
Beshear hasn’t made any decisions, but he says he’ll have to call a special budget session if analysts’ predictions of a one billion dollar shortfall for the next fiscal year hold true.
In addition, horse industry professionals are pushing for expanded gaming to shore up the state’s racetracks.
“I’m entering into conversations with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle about this issue,” says Beshear. “I think that folks are becoming more and more aware of the dire straights the horse business is in. I’m hopeful we can work through some ways and find some common ground to help this industry out so we can keep those 100,000 jobs.”
Beshear says expanded gaming could also help ease the budget crunch, and he thinks it could be legalized without amending the state constitution.
“There’ve been two or three Attorneys General’s opinions and I think they disagree with each other on various points,” he says. “And the only ultimate decider in that area is the Kentucky Supreme Court, should it end up in court.”
Legislation calling for expanded gaming has twice failed in the legislature.