Political news

Several Kentucky House Republicans are hoping to derail new legislative districts with a lawsuit challenging the redistricting map.

Members of the GOP caucus and a group of private individuals could file the suit as soon as the end of this week. It will start in Franklin County Circuit Court and will include a motion to stop the redistricting maps from taking immediate effect.

Governor Steve Beshear’s proposal for a constitutional amendment to expand gaming could get a big boost soon.

State Senator Damon Thayer, a Republican, says it’s very likely he will sponsor Beshear’s amendment this session. Thayer has been working with Beshear on the gambling issue this session, giving the amendment leverage it hasn't had before.

“I think that’s something I’m considering strongly and has a high probability,' Thayer says. "But there’ll be a time and a place we announce that once I make that decision.”

Kentucky’s newest constitutional officers are fearing the results of the latest proposed budget cuts. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Auditor Adam Edelen and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer all testified before a budget subcommittee today. 

All three are facing 8.4 percent budget cuts. Grimes and Comer asked the committee to reconsider cuts to their offices to prevent any disruption of public services.

Talks have broken down over new Congressional redistricting lines, Kentucky lawmakers say. A conference committee tasked with reach a compromise on new federal districts had no discussions over the weekend or today. And House Speaker Greg Stumbo says both the House and Senate are blaming each other for the lack of progress.

Elizabethtown Representative Tim Moore says he'll introduce a bill that would change the way legislative redistricting maps are created.

Kentucky’s congressional delegation will have to wait a little longer to find out who exactly they’ll represent this year. Legislative leaders are trying to work out a compromise on new congressional redistricting maps, having already passed maps of their own districts and their own versions of the congressional map. 

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

A Warren County House Republican says he'll seek a new office rather than run against his fellow GOP incumbents. Under the redistricting plan sent to Governor Beshear Thursday, Rockfield Republican Jim DeCesare would be placed in a district along with CB Embry of Morgantown and Michael Meredith of Brownsville. But DeCesare told WKU Public Radio he will file papers Friday to run for a new state Senate seat that covers parts of Warren, Allen, Simpson, Logan, Todd, and Muhlenberg counties.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has been picked to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address. Daniels was considered a possible GOP Presidential candidate this year before deciding not to run for the White House. 

New legislative and judicial lines for Kentucky have been set. Kevin Willis has the latest on an agreed-upon redistricting map that would be harsh to the minority parties in each legislative chamber.

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

The other shoe in the redistricting battle has fallen, this time in the state Senate. Republicans control the chamber and have decided to put five incumbent Democratic senators into tough re-election fights.

That chamber passed House Bill 1 with it's new Senate districts on a near-party line vote Wednesday. It includes the new House and judicial maps and could be signed into law by Thursday afternoon.

A state Senate committee has approved a Congressional redistricting plan that differs greatly from the one passed in the House.

The Senate State and Local Government voted 7 to 4 along party lines Wednesday for the plan that keeps Owensboro in the 2nd District and Ashland in the 4th. The Senate plan also keeps all of Pulaski County in the 5th District. The Democratic House map had divided Pulaski County, home of GOP Congressman Hal Rogers of Somerset.

Governor Beshear's budget proposal does not include money for a new downtown bluegrass music center in Owensboro. The Messenger-Inquirer reports that the city and Daviess County did not receive funding for any capital projects in the Governor's two-year plan. Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne recently traveled to Frankfort to plead his case for $18 million to convert a downtown state office building into a new international bluegrass music center.

A key opponent to expanded gambling in Kentucky says the bill doesn’t have the votes to pass this legislative session.

For years, the Family Foundation has mounted strong opposition to Governor Steve Beshear’s chief legislative issue. The group’s senior analyst, Martin Cothran, says Beshear’s proposal will fall short in the Senate if it's voted on soon.

A redistricting map passed by House Democrats now heads to the Senate, where it is very likely to be challenged. The Democratic-passed plan pits many GOP incumbents against each other, including three in the south-central Kentucky region. Kevin Willis has the latest.

Officials from outside of Kentucky are encouraging state lawmakers not to repeat their missteps in the fight against meth.

At a joint meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, officials from Oklahoma and Mississippi testified about how they've restricted the purchase of pseudoephedrine (PSE)—a common decongestant in cold medicines and an integral ingredient in meth.