Mike Wilson

Kentucky LRC

A Warren County lawmaker says momentum is building against what’s known as internet sweepstakes games.

Republican Senator Mike Wilson has filed a bill that would outlaw cafes where the games are played.

The cafes sell telephone and internet time, which allows customers to enter online sweepstakes that offer payouts.

The state Attorney General’s office has issued an opinion saying that the games are an illegal lottery.

“They award a prize by chance in return for consideration. While they may appear to offer fair consideration for value received in the form of internet access, the consideration is merely incidental to the game of chance,” said the opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Matt James.

Kentucky's persistently low-achieving schools would be able to become charter schools to improve performance and test scores under a bill discussed Tuesday in the state Senate Education Committee.

The bill adds charters as a fifth option for what the state now calls "priority schools—schools that persistently get low scores. The current options include re-staffing of teachers, firing the principal, giving the school up to outside management or closing the schools.

Kentucky is one of seven states that doesn't allow for some sort of charter school—public schools that are generally governed independently from local school boards and given flexibility in teaching methods. Past efforts which would have opened charters to schools that weren't persistently low-performing have failed to pass through the General Assembly.

This legislation, Senate Bill 176, offers a different path, because only those schools who qualify as low-achieving could apply for charter status to their local school board.