FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear’s deputy chief of staff, Vince Gabbert, is the governor’s staff person on the issue of expanded gaming, press secretary Jay Blanton said Tuesday night.
“Vince has been the guy who is working closely with the governor on the issue, sitting in on various meetings and following up on the conversations,” Blanton said. “You can call him the ‘point man.'”
Gabbert, an attorney, was state Senate Caucus director from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, he managed Jonathan MIller’s successful 2003 re-election campaign for state treasurer. He also has served as political director for the state Democratic Party and worked three years for Ross, Sinclaire & Associates as manager of the Kentucky Local Government Division for Municipal Finance.
Beshear is considering whether to add casino-style gambling to the call of a possible special legislative session to address an expected state budget shortfall in the 2010 fiscal year that begins July 1.
An independent group of economists is to present to Beshear on Friday a revised revenue projection for the new year. Beshear has said it could be a shortfall of more than $1 billion.
Meanwhile, Kentucky’s horse industry is pushing proposed video lottery terminals at the track while opponents like Say No to Casinos maintains an expansion of gambling would increase social ills.