Lawmaker says 'D-Day' coming for Kentucky casino push - News, Weather & Sports

Lawmaker says 'D-Day' coming for Kentucky casino push

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Rep. Larry Clark Rep. Larry Clark

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The push to bring casinos to Kentucky will be over by next week if racetrack owners can't come together to support the effort, a Louisville lawmaker said Tuesday.

Rep. Larry Clark, a Democrat who has supported the casino issue for 10 years, said he has scheduled a meeting with five Kentucky racetrack owners for next Wednesday.

"Next Wednesday's going to be 'D-Day' for me," Clark said. "It's at the funeral home but we haven't pronounced it dead yet. Next Wednesday, we'll make the decision if the industry wants to move forward, or we can go ahead and call for the pall bearers."

Lawmakers in both the state House and Senate would need to approve language for a proposed constitutional amendment. Voters, in a statewide election, would then need to OK the changes to allow casinos in Kentucky.

But the plan is stuck. The House and Senate are in a stalemate over the issue, with leaders in both chambers unwilling to move first.

Last week, Republican senators said they didn't have the votes in their chamber to pass a proposed constitutional amendment. House Democrats said it would be a waste of time to approve it if the Senate couldn't do the same.

Clark, who has said casinos would bring $286 million in new revenue for the state, said racetrack owners remain divided over taxes, the length of the casino license, and racing dates.

Clark vowed to punt the issue if it fails again this year, but wasn't sure another lawmaker was willing to take the lead.

"If I can't bridge an agreement over the past 10 years, then I don't think an agreement can be reached," he said.

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