Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Homepage

January 10, 2014

First week of session mostly uneventful

FRANKFORT — The first week of the 2014 General Assembly might have been written off as uneventful but for the accidental firing of a lawmaker’s pistol in her Capitol office.

Fortunately, no one was injured and there were no charges after Rep. Leslie Combs accidentally discharged her pistol while unloading it. But the incident provided fodder for jokes in a week when no legislation passed either chamber.

On the evening of the first day of the 60-day budget session, Gov. Steve Beshear told lawmakers he would not stand by while continued cuts or flat funding put in jeopardy gains the commonwealth has made in education. He said he’d make “harmful” cuts to other programs if he had to in order to “re-invest” in education.

But he also told lawmakers he’ll offer specific proposals on tax reform and ask them to pass a constitutional amendment to allow voters to vote on the question of casino gambling. Such amendments have been proposed by a member of Republican Senate leadership — Caucus Chair Dan Seum of Louisville — and Democratic House Leadership — Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark of Louisville.

Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said he “sees a way forward” on gambling if the Senate will first act on a “clean amendment,” by which he means wording which says nothing in the state constitution prevents lawmakers from authorizing expanded gambling but without any guarantee for a specific industry such as thoroughbred racing.

Gambling and tax reform — as well as a budget with little extra money for education or increased costs in programs like Medicaid — will succeed or fail against a very political backdrop. All 100 House seats and 19 of 38 Senate seats will be on the fall ballot and Republicans think they have a shot at taking over the House which Democrats now control 54-46.

Cynics might be forgiven for thinking the election might have something to do with the respective chambers’ top legislative priorities. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers wants a constitutional amendment allowing a committee of lawmakers the authority to overturn executive orders by the governor.

Text Only
Local News
Local Sports
Obituaries
Lifestyles
Opinion
Columns
College Basketball
CNHI News Service Originals
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Newspaper National Network
SEC Zone