Andy Beshear touts expanded gambling as way to fund pensions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Democrat Andy Beshear says he wants to expand gambling in Kentucky and use the proceeds to fund struggling public pension systems.

Two of his rivals in next month’s gubernatorial primary are taking shots at the proposal.

Beshear told a Louisville audience on Thursday that his plan calls for earmarking all expanded gambling revenues to shore up public pension plans. Kentucky has one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems.

Beshear says he wants to legalize casino gambling and sports betting. His father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, pushed for expanded gambling but never got it through the legislature.

One of Andy Beshear’s rivals, state Rep. Rocky Adkins, says it’s an “unrealistic proposal” that can’t pass the Republican-led legislature.

Another candidate, Adam Edelen, says it’s an “irresponsible gamble” since past proposals failed.