Politics

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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.

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

A plan to redraw all 100 Kentucky House districts is being pegged as unfair to Republicans because it forces up to nine GOP incumbents to run against each other.

The plan cleared the State Government Committee today despite complaints from Republicans.

The new districts would put the following legislators into campaigns against each other:

A bill aimed at overhauling how Kentucky public school teachers are evaluated is headed to the House floor. Kevin Willis has our report.

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

A vote on legislation that would allow charter schools may finally have it’s day in the Kentucky state House education committee.

House Education Chairman Carl Rollins says he’s considering allowing a charter school bill to receive a hearing and a vote in his committee this session. That’s been unheard of since Rollins assumed the chair of that committee.

Rollins makes no guarantee he’ll bring up a charter school bill, but says if there’s legislation out there he can deal with, a vote could happen.

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