Beshear Unsure If Special Session Will Include Gaming Proposal

by Rick Howlett on June 1, 2009

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he’ll issue the formal call for a special legislative session on the budget later this week.

Beshear announced Friday he would summon lawmakers to Frankfort June 15, after a panel of economics estimated the state faces a revenue shortfall of nearly a billion dollars next fiscal year.

The governor said Monday that he doesn’t know yet if he’ll include expanded gaming on the call.

“I’m still talking to legislative leaders about that, there’s a possibility we might address that, I just haven’t decided,” he said.

Proponents of adding slot-type machines at horse tracks say it would add hundreds of millions of dollars to state coffers and help the struggling racing industry.  Beshear says even if a gaming bill is approved during the session, the revenue would not be immediately available.

Beshear says he won’t propose raising taxes as a way to meet the revenue shortfall.

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