Gov. Beshear’s State of the State Asks For Gaming
(Frankfort, Ky.) – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says unless state lawmakers pass a constitutional amendment to expand gaming, that cash going to casinos in other states might as well be dumped in the Ohio River.
As the Kentucky legislature began its 2012 lawmaking session, Beshear made an impassioned plea in his annual State of the State address Wednesday.
“We must look beyond our current budget crisis and take steps to improve our revenues long term if we are to strengthen our state,” Beshear said. “I mentioned two of those steps in my inaugural address. Number one, we should allow the people of this state to vote on the issue of expanded gaming.”
The governor said Kentuckians’ money is funding early childhood education, schools, libraries, police officers, roads and bridges in neighboring states like Indiana.
“We might as well be backing trucks filled with cash up to the Ohio River and dumping that money into the water,” Beshear said.
If the state legislature passes a constitutional amendment, it would allow voters to decide in November if the state will permit expanded gambling.
Beshear also asked lawmakers to raise Kentucky’s mandatory school age, or dropout age, from 16 to 18. The current dropout age was set in 1934 with 6,000 students dropping out before age 18 each year currently.
Other items Beshear wishes to see are an adoption tax credit for members of the Kentucky National Guard, creating a new panel to oversee child neglect deaths, reducing the 40 percent of Kentuckians who smoke, and keeping a balanced budget.