FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – The countdown is on at the state capitol. Lawmakers will be working late into the night Tuesday and Wednesday to pass as many bills as they can before a veto recess. One item struggling to make it to the finish line is sports betting.
“We’ve got a bumpy road in the Senate. It’s still alive,” Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) told FOX 56.
House Bill 606 was assigned to the Senate Licensing and Operations Committee, which met Tuesday, but sports betting was not on the agenda.
“I can tell you right now that the votes aren’t there, but I think that Chairman Koenig deserves another opportunity to take another run at it because I think there are some people that want to learn more about it,” Thayer said.
Thayer has publicly supported the bill and gave it a first reading Tuesday in the Senate to keep it alive for lawmakers to take action before the session’s final day.
“That will give Chairman Koenig 10 days over the veto break to continue to try and build support for it in the Senate,” Thayer explained.
“I’ve requested meetings with several Senators, and I’ve had a couple and I’m waiting on others. Everybody is busy right now,” Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) said.
Thayer said the opposition is over religious reasons and comes from senators representing rural areas.
“It’s not even a partisan issue when you look at us going in four years from one state to thirty-three states that have legalized it. Democrat states, Republican states, doesn’t matter it’s just common sense to a lot of people,” Koenig said.
Thayer said it’s possible the bill could be referred to another committee, and despite the time crunch of the session, a committee meeting can happen any time before the session ends.