A Louisville Democrat has drafted legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to allow three stand-alone casinos, plus five others at horse tracks. State Rep. Larry Clark said the proposal could generate needed cash for both state government and the horse tracks.
Gambling proposals have become perennial in the Kentucky Legislature, never garnering enough support to pass. Gov. Steve Beshear has pressed lawmakers since he took office in 2007 to allow Kentuckians to wager on more than horse races. The Bible-belt state has a longstanding tradition of betting on horses and playing lotteries while barring casinos.
Clark said his proposal could generate $286 million a year in new revenue. If approved by the Legislature, the proposal would then be placed on the ballot for voters to ratify or reject next November.
Indiana’s House and Senate Democratic leaders are asking their Republican counterparts to avoid a gay marriage battle during the 2014 session.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Minority Tim Lanane said a fight on the highly charged issue would keep lawmakers from addressing more important matters during their upcoming session. Lawmakers returned Tuesday to the Capitol for a formal, one-day meeting before they begin the 2014 session in January.
Social conservative groups are pushing lawmakers to write the state’s ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. If they win passage during the session, the issue would go to voters next November.
Opponents of the amendment who include members of the business and higher education communities argue that it will paint Indiana as an unfriendly state.
A Franklin Circuit Court Judge will decide which parties can be named in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the state and a former Kentucky lawmaker.
Two women have filed suit against former Representative John Arnold, the Legislative Research Commission, and state government. The women claim Arnold sexually harassed them, and the LRC didn't properly address their complaints.
Previously, the civil trial was delayed, as the Attorney General said the LRC and the state are the same and can't both be sued. And there's a question over whether the women are non-partisan LRC employees since they serve the body’s partisan leadership.
Thomas Clay is lead counsel for the women. He thinks they’re technically employees of House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who is also named in the complaint and has asked the court to be removed from the suit.
Another high-ranking Kentucky Republican lawmaker is predicting that there won’t be a government shutdown in January.
In an interview in his Washington office, Somerset Republican Congressman Hal Rogers told the Courier-Journal “if we don’t do something, there will be a shutdown, but we’re going to do everything possible to avoid it.”
Kentucky’s Fifth District Representative joins Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in calling on Congress to make sure there is not a repeat of the shutdown that closed the federal government for 16 days in October. The shutdown ended when a stopgap spending plan was passed that funds the government until January 15.
Congressman Rogers and his Democratic counterpart are asking a special budget conference group to send them overall government spending numbers by Thanksgiving, in order to expedite the process of creating a new spending plan.
Larry Forgy has endorsed Louisville businessman Matt Bevin ahead of next May's primary.
Forgy, a Lexington attorney who was the GOP nominee for Kentucky governor in 1995, announced the endorsement Tuesday. Forgy is a former member of the Republican National Committee and served as Kentucky chairman of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1984.
Bevin is running as a challenger to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Forgy said he feels that Bevin, not McConnell, is the best answer to the nation's problems. Forgy has been at odds with McConnell for years, and he blasted McConnell in a statement as "the best example of the need for term limits."
The winner of the McConnell-Bevin race will likely face Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election.