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.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the latest maps of state legislative districts are unconstitutional. Lawmakers approved new lines for state House and Senate districts earlier this year. But a circuit court judge declared them unconstitutional, citing a precedent that districts can’t be more than five percent larger or smaller than their ideal size. Lawyers for the Legislative Research Commission promptly appealed the ruling on behalf of House and Senate leadership.
The fight over redistricting has moved to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Lawmakers approved new lines for state House and Senate districts earlier this year. But a judge declared them unconstitutional, citing a precedent that districts can't be more than five percent larger or smaller than their ideal size.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's expanded gambling amendment has failed in the state Senate. The measure would have allowed for a public vote on whether to legalize casinos. It fell seven votes short of the 23 it needed to move to the House, largely due to fractures in the Democratic caucus.
A Senate bill that would have made pseudoephedrine available by prescription only has surprisingly been killed by its sponsor. State Senator Robert Stivers withdrew Senate Bill 50 Thursday, to the objection of several of his colleagues.