A bill dealing with pseudoephedrine usage could be in trouble for the second straight legislative session. Supporters of restricting PSE use thought they had a compromise. Previous bills have attempted to make the drug available by prescription only. The latest measure would allow the drug to remain over the counter but limits consumers to three point six grams per month and fifteen grams per year.
Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week. Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling his main priority.
This year, he attempted to pass a constitutional amendment dealing with the issue through the state Senate. The bill fell seven votes short of passage in a vote that critics say should be the end of the issue. But Beshear says the vote gave more resolve to the business leaders and horse racing interests who back the idea.
Although two major issues have been nearly resolved, Kentucky lawmakers still have a full agenda this session. Redistricting and expanded gambling dominated the first half of the session.
The gambling bill was defeated last week and redistricting was settled by the Kentucky Supreme Court. But that doesn’t mean the legislative work is over. Lawmakers still have a two-year budget to pass. Senate President David Williams says that's just one of several pressing issues.
A new bill in Kentucky would allow students to go to school outside of the district they live in, as long the new district allows it. State Senator Ken Winters is sponsoring the bill because of concerns he's heard from parents in his district. He says the measure isn’t aimed at getting students out of low-performing schools, but is instead tailored to parents who commute outside their home county.
A bill creating an alternative diploma for special needs students is one vote away from becoming law. Senate Bill 43 would apply different core standards to qualified students who would then earn the alternative diploma. Currently, special needs students in Kentucky receive only a certificate when they graduate.
The chairman of the House Education Committee says his modifications to a dropout bill will help broker a compromise between the House and the Senate. Both chambers recently passed legislation effectively raising Kentucky’s high school dropout age, but there are key differences between the bills.
Currently, students can’t drop out of high school on their own until they’re 18 years old. But with parental consent, they can drop out at age 16.
Catholic bishops have issued a stern warning about the potential consequences if Kentucky lawmakers approve a proposal to legalize casinos. Catholic Conference of Kentucky executive director Patrick Delahanty distributed a letter to state senators today detailing the concerns of the state's four Bishops who represent some 400,000 parishioners in the state.
A national organization trying to beat back a Kentucky bill making pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug spent five times as much as any other group lobbying state lawmakers last month.
The Courier-Journal reports the Consumer Healthcare Products Association of Washington, D.C spent nearly $195,000 lobbying Kentucky lawmakers in January.
Some Kentucky lawmakers and many law enforcement officials want to make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only because it’s a necessary ingredient in making meth, a drug that is ravaging rural parts of the Commonwealth.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the plan to make the University of Pikeville the ninth state university will not be derailed by the hectic session. Stumbo is the main legislative supporter of the measure. And he says despite redistricting, expanded gambling legislation and other barriers or distractions, his bill will continue moving forward.
A bill that would allow Kentucky to collect money from Medicaid fraud busts has again been introduced in Frankfort. House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed the bill, which would also protect and possibly reward whistle blowers who report fraud in Medicaid or any other areas of state government.