A broad coalition of unlikely partners says it’s time to put casinos to a vote of the people in Kentucky. The coalition includes labor, business and education groups
"At times we're engaged in various battles here in Frankfort and we don't always see eye to eye,” admitted David Adkisson, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President. “However, we stand here today unified."
They are united by the belief that lawmakers should allow a vote by the people on a constitutional amendment on expanded gambling. The coalition is calling itself Kentucky Alliance for Jobs.
Lawmakers are the hurdle to a vote on casinos. "I think it's developing a solid sense of momentum right now,” said Adkisson.
Martin Cothran, with the anti gambling group, The Family Foundation, disagrees. "We think this thing's been dead for two weeks and this is an attempt to resurrect that by occupation of the capitol rotunda by the one percent," said Cothran,
Governor Steve Beshear said his casino bill will be filed in the Senate after lawmakers settle their redistricting mess, which has ended up in court and delayed many issues at the statehouse.
Education groups, ranging from the teachers’ unions to school boards and superintendents, are clamoring for more revenue and see gambling money as one potential source.
"We are facing too many uncertainties to adequately funding our schools in the future and we must move forward,” said Stu Silberman of the Kentucky Education Action Team, which includes seven education groups.
"We were disappointed to see some of the establishment education groups up there because we think they running families under the bus,” said Cothran.