06/02/2009 11:00PM

Slots not included on Kentucky agenda


A bill to put gaming machines at Kentucky's racetracks will not be on Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's initial agenda for the state legislature's special session. But Beshear indicated Wednesday it could be added if he revises the agenda before the session begins on June 15.

State law required Beshear to call the session because a state economic panel has projected a $996 million revenue shortfall for 2010's budget. Under Kentucky law, the governor must call a special session if the deficit forecast is greater than 5 percent of the state's budget.

Horse industry interests have lobbied for legalization of slot machines or video lottery termin als at the state's racetracks, a move favored by the house speaker, Democrat Greg Stumbo, but opposed by the Republican senate president David Williams. Beshear, a Democrat, endorsed expanded gambling during his 2008 campaign.

"I still have under consideration other issues and will likely be amending the call in the next few days as we develop more consensus on some of those issues," Beshear told the Louisville Courier-Journal after meeting with legislative leaders Wednesday morning. Beshear said that slots at racetracks is among the subjects that he could add to an amended agenda.

Stumbo told the Courier-Journal that Beshear is drafting a bill to expand gambling.