GLI Backs Expanded Gaming Amendment
(Frankfort, KY) – Speaking with bipartisan support on Tuesday at the Capitol, Greater Louisville Inc. once again urged support for an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that would allow for expanded gaming.
“Every year the Commonwealth continues to see hundreds of millions of dollars flow across state lines in gaming revenue: $546 million to be exact,” said GLI President and CEO Kent Oyler. “These are dollars that could be going toward our state deficit and our significant pension obligations.”
GLI is backing an amendment introduced by Senator Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) and co-filed by Senator Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) on Tuesday in Frankfort.
“When it comes to gaming reasonable minds can differ, but gaming is already here. 80% of Kentuckians live within an hour of a casino,” Sen. McGarvey said. “We just have to choose if we want to benefit from it.”
The measure puts expanded gaming on the ballot and dedicates 90% of revenue raised in the first ten years to unfunded pension liabilities for the Kentucky Retirement Systems and Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System. The remaining 10% of the fund would go towards purses for Kentucky’s horseracing industry.
GLI’s position continues to be that expanded gaming could be a catalyst for economic growth.
“This is a plan that has bipartisan support in the Senate right now and could significantly grow our state’s economy through business attraction, job creation, and tax revenue. Our Commonwealth is cash-strapped. We know the financial challenges Kentucky is facing,” Oyler said. “There is a real opportunity within this amendment to create positive economic growth in our Commonwealth.”
Tuesday’s press conference was also attended by several retired teachers. Tom Denton who taught for 33 years in Perry and Jefferson Counties spoke about his perspective on the pension crisis.
“My concerns today are that after years of service to my community that there will be no resources there to take care of me when I need them,” Tom Denton, a recently retired teacher from JCPS, remarked. “I’m also worried about the message that leaving the pension system unfunded sends to current teachers and those considering entering the field of education. We cannot create the great thinkers and doers of tomorrow without bright, confident teachers in our schools. If the state cannot put the dollars behind the promises it’s already made, then who would want to enter work environment with such an uncertain future.”
About Greater Louisville Inc.
Greater Louisville Inc. – the Metro Chamber of Commerce is where regional business leaders come together to accelerate business competitiveness, economic growth and job creation in the Greater Louisville region. The region’s largest business leadership organization, GLI leads economic and global outreach strategies focused on business attraction; nurtures the entrepreneurial eco-system and fast growth companies; and champions the development of the community’s talent base. As the voice of the business community, GLI advocates for a pro-business environment and facilitates business leadership engagement on issues that impact regional competitiveness. For more information, visitwww.GreaterLouisville.com.