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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants the House of Representatives to spend money on children, not outdated prisons. Quinn continues to try to divert money from prisons to child-protection services after the Senate rejected the attempt made there. The state Senate voted 35 to 16 to reject Quinn’s $57 million cuts.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has a new computerized child abuse hotline after receiving complaints that the old system failed to handle the large number of calls. Last year the department had more than 250,000 calls, but a majority of callers had to wait for a child abuse expert to call back.
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says politicians should disclose more information about their financial interests to help restore state residents’ faith in government. Simon and Sen. Dan Kotowski are introducing the legislation Thursday that would overhaul the state’s 40-year-old financial disclosure system.
What is expected to be the final meeting of Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform is set for next week in Frankfort. The commission members will finalize their recommendations for reforming the state’s tax code Dec. 6.
Tennessee Senate Democrats re-elected Sen. Jim Kyle as minority leader and Sen. Lowe Finney as caucus chairman. The Democrats lost six seats earlier this month. Now they only have seven of 33 seats in the upper chamber of the General Assembly.
Illinois lawmakers are considering a three-year pilot program that would temporarily legalize medical marijuana for people with certain illnesses. Bill sponsor Rep. Lou Lang says he thinks political momentum is on his side and hopes to vote on the bill Wednesday.
Patriot Coal’s federal bankruptcy case will no longer be heard in New York City. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman in New York ruled that the case be moved to St. Louis, where Patriot Coal is based. Chapman says there were hundreds of handwritten letters from retired coal miners.