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.
As shoppers start to return unwanted Christmas gifts, the Better Business Bureau has some advice on dealing with store policies. The BBB says its important to know a seller’s return policy--- and to remember that returning or exchanging items is a privilege, not a right.
If a product was defective, however, you have every reason to expect the store to provide a substitute or refund.
The Better Business Bureau says most stores will honor an exchange or credit if the buyer of the gift has made a reasonable mistake, like purchasing a sweater of the wrong size or color. The credit can typically be applied to any other item at that store.
As of the end of November, Kentucky had added 35,000 new jobs in 2012. Companies operating in Kentucky are cautiously hiring more workers as the state comes out of the recession.
Kentucky’s unemployment rate this year dropped below nine percent for the first time in three years. Office of Employment and Training economist Manoj Shanker says many industries, including the manufacturing sector, are hiring employees on temporary contracts.
“They’re not sure how real and how strong the recovery is," explains Shanker. "In the case of Toyota, for example, they sell to our domestic market, but they also sell to South Korea and Canada. So they have to look to see what the market is like out there. Are they going to be hit by what’s happening in east Asia and Europe?”
One of the big issues Kentucky lawmakers are expected to take up in the next legislative session is an overhaul of the state tax code. It's something that the commonwealth's bourbon distillers will have their collective eyes on, because a provision under consideration would create a new tax credit for manufacturers designed to offset a longstanding barrel tax.
"We pay a tax on every barrel that is aging in the commonwealth, as long as it sits in one of our warehouses. So if you're drinking a bottle of 18-year- old bourbon, it's been taxed 18 times," says Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association. "That makes Kentucky non-competitive in the global marketplace. We are the only alcohol manufacturer in the world that pays such a tax."
Tax legislation designed to help Kentucky's bourbon distillers has previously passed in the Senate, but has never made it out of the House. Gregory says distillers are sensing a renewed seriousness on the part of many lawmakers to get a tax code overhaul passed next year, either in the regular session that begins January 8, or during a special session.
Gov. Steve Beshear is considering multiple options in the efforts to get the General Assembly to support expanded gambling legislation.
A constitutional amendment failed earlier this year in the state Senate -- and a major complaint from critics was that the amendment did too much to protect thoroughbred racing tracks over other businesses. The bill banned casinos from being within 60 miles of a race track, unless the casino was at the track.
Toyota Motor Corporation is offering retirement incentives to 2,000 Kentucky employees in an effort to prevent a mass-exodus next year at the automaker’s Georgetown plant. The Wall Street Journal reports the effort by Toyota would require eligible workers to leave at dates specified by the company, rather than when the employees would otherwise become eligible for retirement.
A grand opening is planned this week for the Western Kentucky University Student Business Accelerator, a 1,200-square-foot space to give students a chance to start a business while they're still in college. The space is in the Center for Research and Development in Bowling Green, and the grand opening is set for 3 p.m. CST Tuesday.
Kentucky has a captive audience during the month of December for a spread about the state's business climate. Gov. Steve Beshear's office says a 32-page editorial supplement on the state is being featured in Hemispheres, the onboard magazine of United Airlines. The governor's office said in a news release that the supplement will be available to approximately 12.3 million passengers during December.