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Beshear Says 23 Votes for Gambling Amendment Are There, Blames Williams for Lobbying Against Issue

Responding to critics, Governor Steve Beshear says he believes he already has ample support in the state Senate to send an expanded gambling amendment to the ballot.Beshear says there are 23 state senators who would vote in favor of the measure. That doesn’t mean all 23 support gambling though, as some senators, like Republican Damon Thayer, have said they will vote to put the issue on the ballot but aren't supportive of gambling in Kentucky. Opponents have said the governor does not have the votes in his favor.“I think we have 23 people saying that they will vote on this issue and vote in favor of putting this on the ballot," Beshear said. "But as we all know between the time the bill is introduced and the time that the vote is actually taken a lot of conversations go on.”Because it’s a constitutional amendment, the bill would need a minimum of 23 votes to pass the Senate.If the bill does lose votes, Beshear is already blaming Williams.“I know that we got some stiff opposition in the Senate," Beshear said. "I know Senator Williams is working very hard against an amendment trying to keep it off the ballot. That’s his prerogative obviously, he’s always said that he’s against it. So we’ll just see how things go.”Williams brushed off those allegations, calling Beshear a “poor winner.” Williams added that he has put the governor’s race behind him and wants to help fix Kentucky’s problems."Everyone hates a poor winner you know," Williams told KPR. "The governor evidently is a poor winner. And I've put the governor's race behind me. I work everyday to try to help the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Governor Beshear needs to get over the governor's race and needs to get on with the people's business."Beshear didn't give a timeline for introducing his amendment, but says he’s not purposely waiting until after the filing deadline to protect those who support the amendment from opposition.