Kansas Lawmakers Delay Bill Again
"Leaders in the Senate said last week they would take the weekend to work out the kinks in the plan. They are also working to ensure they have the requisite 21 votes to pass the measure.
"Expanded gambling is never a sure bet in the Kansas Legislature. Bills to expand slot machines and casinos are always proposed, only to be defeated by anti-gambling lawmakers and competing gambling groups that want to push their specific interests.
"This year, with lawmakers under a court order to increase school funding by $400 million to $500 million, the pressure to pass expanded gambling is back. So are the challenges.
" Lawmakers who support the provision say they want to ensure that all state-run gambling is free of corruption or conflicts of interest among lawmakers. Opponents of expanded gambling often raise the specter of corruption as a reason to vote against gambling.
" Senate leaders have said for weeks that they wouldn't introduce the bill unless they had 21 votes. And week after week, the bill is delayed. Even if a gambling proposal passes the Senate, it faces another tough fight in the House, where representatives are up for re-election. Some lawmakers will be pressured to endorse gambling for local economic development; others will be pressured to vote against it "