Archive for Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Opinion: New governor may show support for gaming

November 6, 2002

Kathleen Sebelius has plenty to celebrate after becoming the second woman to be elected governor in Kansas. Yet, just like Joan Finney, she won't be able to celebrate long because of the state's budget woes.

The state must cut $225 million from the budget this year or face a deficit when the fiscal year ends June 30. Voters will be watching Sebelius, who like her opponent Tim Shallenburger, never presented a concrete plan for curing the state's budget troubles.

However, what Sebelius' election could mean on a local level is less friction in getting a gaming compact signed with Wyandotte Nation. The nation wants to purchase 52.6 acres of land in Edwardsville to build a casino and resort.

Gov. Bill Graves has come out in opposition to the gaming proposal.

A majority of state Democrats and some modern Republicans have supported gaming several years. Joan Finney was in office when the first tribal casinos were established in the state.

Sebelius has not said whether she will support the plan, but the odds are better than with Graves.

Yet, it may never make it to the new governor with the Republicans taking control of Congress Tuesday.

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