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Kentucky House Passes Gambling Bill, Senate Prepared To Vote No

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Governor Steve Beshear put on his acting face on Friday and applauded legislation passed in the state House that would expand gambling at racetracks in Kentucky. Then, he turned his attention to a little posturing to the state Senate.

"An issue that is this important deserves the deliberation and vote of everyone," said Beshear, "Now the question is will the Senate give everyone in its chamber the same privilege-an up-or-down vote on an issue of such importance to our Commonwealth."

The answer to Beshear's question will most likely be no. Senate President David Williams believes the gambling Bill has no chance of approval from the Senate. They have maintained that there is alternative ways of increasing revenue.

Williams would like to raise revenue for the racetracks by imposing a ten percent tax on lottery ticket sales. The rest of the Senate appears to be in his corner. The Senate voted 32-0 in favor of legislation that would impose the tax.

In the House's plan, which passed with much more controversy by a vote of only 52-45, slot machine and poker gambling would be added to state racetracks. After much discussion, the Bill narrowly escaped the House with a positive vote.

The legislators have been debating expanded gambling after Beshear added the issue to a special session this past week to help finalize the state budget. The governor's main concern for months has been helping state racetracks increase their purses to stay competitive on a national level.

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