KEEP Sets Date to Unveil 'Legislative Initiative'

The Kentucky Equine Education Project will unveil what it calls a "bold legislative initiative aimed at increasing the state's revenue for critical services without a broad-based tax increase" Sept. 16 on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort.

The KEEP board of directors met Sept. 7 and voted on a legislative strategy believed to focus on expanded gaming, but officials said nothing would be released before the press conference.

KEEP said represents from the following groups would be on hand for the press conference, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT: Kentucky Association of Counties, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Greater Louisville Inc., Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, United Food and Commercial Workers, American Quarter Horse Association, Kentucky Quarter Horse Association, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, United States Equestrian Federation, Churchill Downs, and Turfway Park.

A statement accompanying a media advisory said the state is in "dire need" of revenue to provide services, and that local governments are "strapped for sufficient funding." It said the legislative initiative would help preserve Kentucky's signature industry--the equine industry--and strengthen the state's overall economic health.

Efforts in the last 10 years to win approval for racetrack slot machines or full-scale casino gambling have failed. KEEP is unveiling its strategy almost four months before the 2006 General Assembly session, and also plans an awareness campaign for November.

In the event of rain, the press conference would move into the Capitol Rotunda.