A proposal to legalize gambling on horse racing in Georgia was among the few bills filed Thursday, the first day state lawmakers could submit proposed laws and resolutions in advance of next year’s legislative session.
The horse racing push by state Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, follows his failure over the past two years to get the issue to a vote among his peers. A similar effort earlier this year failed in the Senate.
Gov. Nathan Deal has repeatedly said he would not support any effort to expand gambling in Georgia.
House Resolution 1 would allow a public vote on amending the state constitution to allow parimutuel betting. It requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to pass. With it, legislators can vote to put the measure on the ballot without Deal’s signature.
A sister bill, House Bill 4, outlines how the process would work. Supporters have said legalized gambling would bring in new revenue for popular programs — such as the state’s HOPE college scholarship program and pre-k classes — without raising taxes.
The session is set to start at 10 a.m. Jan. 14. It typically ends by early to mid-April.