Indiana legislators have introduced bills to help the state’s riverboat casinos hold onto business in the face of growing competition from casinos in neighboring states.
The bills would allow the casinos to move from the boats onto land, reduce their taxes and lift game restrictions on some. A major question, however, is whether any can win approval from lawmakers leery about being perceived as expanding gambling.
Indiana expects a 15 percent drop in the tax revenues from its 13 casinos, from the $614 million it collected last year to about $520 million for the 2015 budget year. State officials blame the decline in part on the opening of new casinos in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
Kentucky lawmakers on Tuesday start a legislative session in which they're expected to consider tax reforms and to search for ways to shore up the financially troubled pension system for government retirees.
The House and Senate are scheduled to convene at noon EST.
The number of coal miners killed on the job in Kentucky fell to four in 2012, down from eight the previous year when the state led the nation in fatalities. Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett said Monday the industry is making progress in protecting miners. But he said there clearly remains work to be done.
One of the nation’s top warriors is being remembered by a member of the Kentucky National Guard. Lieutenant Colonel Kirk Hilbrecht served as a tank platoon commander under General Norman Schwartzkopf during Desert Storm.
“When I had a chance to meet General Swartzkopf, I saw him as a big, barrel-chested man who really had the military bearing and presence that really told you that he was the guy in charge," recalls Hillbrecht.
Hillbrecht, who is the Public Affairs Officer for the Kentucky National Guard, credits Schwartzkopf with being very media savvy, allowing reporters embedded with troops to do live reports.
Indiana residents continue digging out from a winter storm that brought life to a standstill in southern parts of the state where blizzard conditions buried some areas under a foot of snow— their heaviest accumulations in several years.