2013 General Assembly

Politics
6:42 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Beshear to Give State of the Commonwealth Address in February

Credit Kevin Willis

Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver the annual State of the Commonwealth address in early February.

Spokeswoman Kerri Richardson said that the exact date hasn't yet been pinned down.

Beshear is expected to highlight his legislative priorities in the speech that will be delivered to a joint session of the Legislature.

Lawmakers are set to arrive in Frankfort on Tuesday to start the legislative session. But after a week, they're scheduled to adjourn until Feb. 5 when they return to get down to business.

Politics
5:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Groups Still Working to Reform Kentucky Liquor Laws

A Kentucky legislative leader says progress on reforming the state’s liquor laws  is slow going.  Last year, a federal judge threw out the state law that blocks grocery stores and gas stations from selling wine and spirits.

That same judge later stayed his ruling to prevent a sudden surge in liquor retailers and to allow Kentucky lawmakers to re-write the regulations.  But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says so far, no one has put forward a proposal to properly address the issue.

“Everyone hopes that there will be some sort of reasonable proposal from the entire industry that takes in consideration the court’s ruling. To date I haven’t seen that.”

Read more
Business
10:50 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Kentucky Lawmakers, Interested Groups Still Working on New Liquor Laws

A Kentucky legislative leader says progress on reforming the state’s liquor laws  is slow going.

In 2012, a federal judge threw out the state law that blocks grocery stores and gas stations from selling wine and spirits. That same judge later stayed his ruling to prevent a sudden surge in liquor retailers and to allow Kentucky lawmakers to re-write the regulations.

But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says so far, no one has put forward a proposal to properly address the issue. “Everyone hopes that there will be some sort of reasonable proposal from the entire industry that takes in consideration the court’s ruling. To date I haven’t seen that," said the House Speaker.

Stumbo interprets the court’s ruling as a call for a uniform law for selling alcohol in groceries and pharmacies.

Politics
5:00 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Kentucky's Governor Introducing and Reviving Legislative Priorites

State capitol dome in Frankfort, Ky
Credit Kevin Willis

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's agenda for the next legislative session is a mix of old and new priorities.  Beshear plans to work with leaders in both chambers on pension and tax reforms, but he’s unsure how much progress can be made during the 30-day session.

The governor also plans to renew his pushes for expanded gambling and several education initiatives.

“I want to pass the graduation bill if we can, very important to me, so there’s a number of issues like that that we’ll need to be addressing this year," says Beshear.

Read more
Education
6:00 am
Sun December 23, 2012

New Leadership in Kentucky Senate Doesn't Equal Easier Road for Dropout Bill

Advocates for raising the dropout age in Kentucky have a new hope heading into the next legislative session. Currently, Kentucky law allows 16-year-olds to dropout of school with parental permission. And education advocates have pushed to raise the minimum dropout age to 18.

Dropout bills have consistently failed in Frankfort, but advocates are emboldened this year now that former Senate President David Williams is no longer in the General Assembly.

But new Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer says that doesn't mean the bill is a sure thing.

“Because there are legitimate policy concerns we have had with raising the dropout age to 18," the Georgetown Republican says.

Read more
Politics
8:48 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Kentucky Lawmakers Optimistic Gambling Bill Will Pass

The dome inside the state capitol building in Frankfort
Credit Kevin Willis

After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session.

Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.

Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.

Read more
Politics
11:08 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Beshear Expecting Improved Relationship with GOP-Led Senate

Plagued by strained relations with the former Republican leader of the state senate, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said he expects a better rapport now that a new GOP leader is in place. Beshear told reporters Friday he's "excited" about the prospects for collaboration.

Read more
Politics
1:15 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Expanded Gambling Issue May be Addressed in 2013

Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013  session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering. A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.

Read more
Economy
2:46 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Stumbo: Kentucky Gambling Bill Can Start in the House January

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling in Kentucky start in the Senate. "That line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn anymore," Stumbo told reporters during a Capitol press conference on Thursday. "I don't care if it's a House bill or a Senate bill."

Read more

Pages