The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill giving defendants in Kentucky who receive home incarceration prior to trial credit for the time served as part of their sentences. Wednesday, the Senate voted 32-2 to pass the proposal by Senator Robin Webb. The only votes against it were from Republicans Damon Thayer and John Schickel. The original version of the bill would have made the measure apply retroactively to defendants granted pretrial home incarceration on or after July 15, 1996, but that provision was deleted before the Senate voted on the bill.
Illinoislawmakers are again pushing to get rid of legislative scholarships. The House voted yesterday to end the program that allows each lawmaker to hand out tuition waivers to students from their district. The measure now goes to the Senate, which has backed the program in the past. Each legislator can award four-year waivers to two students or divide them among up to eight students. The program has received criticism after revelations some legislators awarded waivers to family members and the children of political allies.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the state's appeal for assistance after a deadly late February tornado and severe storms in southern Illinois. Quinn says he is disappointed with the decision and doesn't believe "it reflects the reality and devastation on the ground." Hundreds of homes in five southern Illinois counties were damaged or destroyed by storms that killed seven people in Harrisburg. Quinn says the state is submitting a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest loans.
A proposal to repeal Tennessee's estate tax is advancing in the state House. The measure passed the House Finance Subcommittee Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate’s finance committee. Under the proposal, the tax - also called the "death tax" - would be gradually phased out over the next four years. Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell says the proposal is beneficial because the tax, in her words, "drives people, capital and jobs out of the state."