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The New-Enterprise calls for Conway to get off the fence on gambling issue

May 26, 2009

With the increasing likelihood of a special session dealing with expanded gambling, more folks are weighing in on the prospect of taking up the issue this year.

The Elizabethtown New-Enterprise‘s editorial board on Sunday called on Attorney General Jack Conway to answer the request by Rep. Jody Richards, the former House speaker, for a legal opinion on whether the state can approve slots at tracks without amending the state constitution.

The board argues that the debate can’t begin until this primary issue is settled.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the General Assembly can allow “video lottery terminals” at tracks without changing the constitution, and uses an opinion he wrote while attorney general as the basis for that idea. Stumbo says the move is the same as introducing a new game by the Kentucky Lottery Corp.

Other opinions from the AG’s office prior to Stumbo’s tenure offer different takes on the issue, so lawmakers are a little confused about what’s allowable.

Richards, a Bowling Green Democrat, and others want a new opinion in the matter, and have turned to Conway who along with being attorney general is now a candidate for the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 2010 U.S. Senate race.

Here’s what the New-Enterprise editorial had to say –

But that debate cannot begin in earnest until Conway takes the personal political risk to provide the legal underpinnings for whatever the Legislature decides when it comes back for a special session this summer, possibly before the fiscal year ends on June 30. The lawmakers who earlier this year raised taxes and imposed budget cuts face the prospect of a more intense repeat performance.

We hope it will not be a consideration, though we wonder why the attorney general has waited so long, but whatever he decides Conway will sacrifice some support for his Senate bid. That’s politics.

One Comment
  1. Ed Markberry permalink
    June 23, 2009 6:13 am

    Senators and Representatives that tend to lead by limited moral convictions while ignoring the crisis will someday be laying in bed looking up at the stars and wonder where did the ceiling go?

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