Pension reform, updating liquor laws, expanded gaming, a state-wide smoking ban and legalizing the production of industrial hemp are just a few issues Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston thinks will be on the agenda for this year's legislative session in Frankfort. Colston speaks with Chad Lampe about the details surrounding some of those issues and who will fill retiring Sen. Ken Winters's (R-Murray) seat on the senate education committee. Plus, hear if there are any hard feeling between Sen. Bob Leeper (I-Paducah) and Senate President-elect Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) after his failed attempt at seeking the top post in the Senate.
After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session. Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.
Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling start in the Senate. Stumbo told reporters Thursday, "that line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn any longer." Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear are hopeful that the departure of Senate President David Williams will improve the chances of getting a bill passed.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has rejected a plan to expand gambling in the state. Quinn announced his veto yesterday, saying the proposed bill lacked sufficient regulatory oversight. The bill proposed five new casinos, one land-based and four more on riverboats.