General Assembly

Kentucky LRC

A Kentucky lawmaker who represents five counties in our listening area has decided two decades in office will be long enough.

Republican House member Dwight Butler announced he won’t run for re-election after his current term expires next year. Butler’s district covers Breckinridge and Hancock counties, along with parts of Bullitt, Daviess, and Hardin counties.

He told WKU Public Radio he plans to take a hands-off approach when it comes to who runs for the seat next year.

“If someone comes to me and asks advice about the district, or about what I’ve seen, or how the process works, I’d be happy to give that to them," said the Republican from Harned. "But I’m not going to have any hand-picked successor, at all.”

Butler’s successor will take over a more compact district than the one the long-time incumbent currently represents. Following the latest round of redistricting, Butler’s district picked up more of Hardin County,while losing parts of Bullitt and Daviess counties.

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Kentucky lawmakers who advocate abolishing the office of constable are emboldened by a new report from the state justice cabinet calling for just that. Constables have the same law enforcement powers as county sheriffs, but without the specific duties. Like sheriffs, the position is outlined in the constitution.

A Super PAC that is helping defend Democrats is Kentucky state House races has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Kentucky Family Values is helping Democrats beat back the GOP’s attempt to take control of the House. And one month before the election, the group reported raising $236,000. It still has $190,000 cash on hand.

For the first time, the state has official figures on how much money Kentuckians bet online or over the phone on horse races that take place in the commonwealth. State Senator Damon Thayer says about $47 million was wagered in the first half of the year.

Kentucky State Representative Addia Wuchner is continuing her push to expand the availability of EpiPens in schools. EpiPens are used to reverse the effects of reactions that usually come from insect stings or food allergies.

Military veterans who are renewing Kentucky driver's licenses will be able to have a special designation printed on the license. The General Assembly this year authorized the designation, and the required programming for circuit court clerks' offices was finished on Monday.

Kentucky's long-awaited tax amnesty program will get started next month. The program is part of the two-year budget the General Assembly passed earlier this year. And any person or business who owes back taxes will be allowed to participate.

After years of lawmakers attempting to find solutions to the state’s underfunded pension problems, a group of Republican legislative candidates are hoping to institute a plan of their own. At a news conference Wednesday at the Capitol, the majority of Republican challengers in House and Senate races endorsed a plan to put new lawmakers into a 401k style pension system.

Legislative leaders have approved the calendar for the 2013 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The constitutionally set start date is Jan. 8, which always is the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the new year.

A judge has ruled that the Legislative Research Commission is responsible for legal fees incurred by lawmakers who successfully challenged how legislative districts were redrawn during this year's Kentucky General Assembly.

Kentucky Republicans hoping to win the state House in elections this fall are getting a helping hand from the party’s leader. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has used his leadership PAC to dole out at least $54,000 dollars to Republican lawmakers in the last three months.

A Northern Kentucky lawmaker will again try to reverse a ban on alcohol sales on election days. Democratic Representative Arnold Simpson will present his proposal to an interim legislative committee Friday.

On Thursday, dozens of laws passed in this year’s legislative session will become active. One of those laws limits the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can buy from a pharmacy. Pseudoephedrine, or PSE, is used in many cold and allergy medicines. It’s also a key part of meth production.

Legislative leaders are going to take another crack at approving payments to lawyers who fought to defend last year’s redistricting maps. The Legislative Research Commission hired the attorneys earlier this year to fend off challenges to new district maps.

With no statewide races on the ballot this year, the Kentucky Democratic Party is focusing its efforts on the General Assembly. Republicans have made taking over the state House a priority and have pledged to raise $1 million dollars to do so.

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