Hoping to reduce gun violence in Kentucky, two Democratic lawmakers have filed a bill that would allow Kentucky State Police to set regulations banning certain firearms or high-capacity magazines.
The bill, which state Sen. Kathy Stein plans to file in the Senate on Thursday, would also allow cities and colleges to ban guns and would require private background checks for every gun sale in Kentucky.
Stein, a Democrat from Lexington, said she's not seeking to infringe on Second Amendment rights from the U.S. Constitution.
"We value the Second Amendment," Stein said. " We recognize that there are very legitimate uses people have for guns, for sporting, for hunting and yes, for self-protection."
The bill's supporters say they are optimistic for a hearing in the short 2013 General Assembly session.
Senate Republicans are again pushing a bill that would require doctors to allow women seeking abortions to look at ultrasound images.
The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection passed the perennial measure Thursday morning on a 7-2 vote. The panel also gave thumbs up to another measure that would require that women get face-to-face consultations with medical professionals before undergoing abortions.
The proposals have repeatedly cleared the GOP-led Senate in recent years only to die in the Democratic-controlled House.
The ultrasound measure has been softened over the years from an original version that would have required doctors to show women the images.
Efforts to reform the laws concerning more than 1,000 special taxing districts are quickly moving in Frankfort this week.
The reforms were filed as House Bill 1 Tuesday and are a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo. It would create an online registry to list the special districts and their required financial paperwork.
It would also re-designate them as special purpose governmental entities. The registry will be paid for initially with a special appropriation through the governor's office, then supplemented by fees on the special districts.
Edelen says the quick path the bill is expected to take shows that Frankfort can work to together on meaningful reforms.
A recently-released poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians support expanded gambling.
In the Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, 60 percent of those polled said they support expansion. For the first time, a majority Eastern Kentucky resident support gambling.
The support is for a so-called clean gambling bill, which would not include any protections for horse racing tracks.
That's the approach Governor Steve Beshear is planning for his next gambling push. But opponents of gambling say any potential bill will fail because supporters can’t choose a single strategy. Also, only one track, Churchill Downs, has endorsed Beshear's plan.
Despite a request from Gov. Steve Beshear to put off redistricting until later this year, state House Speaker Greg Stumbo is moving forward with getting proposals on the divisive issue.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Stumbo sent a letter to House members asking them to submit proposed boundaries for new legislative districts by Feb. 1.
Stumbo said after the proposals come in, lawmakers would decide whether to try to tackle redistricting during the 2013 General Assembly, which resumes on Feb. 5 and is set to end March 26. Rep. Tommy Thompson, a Democrat from Owensboro, told WKU Public Radio he hopes lawmakers take up redistricting this year instead of putting it off until 2014, when House and Senate elections will be held.
A bill filed in the General Assembly would allow some Kentuckians convicted of one or more class D felonies to have those convictions deleted from their record. The aim is to remove a barrier many ex-criminals face in gaining employment.