Now that the governor has acted on every bill passed in the 2013 session, some of the more interesting new laws are starting to stick out.
There are always a few bills that make lobbyists and lawmakers roll their eyes, and this year is no different. For example, a bill signed into law describes Ale-8-One as "an original" Kentucky soft drink. We also now have a law honoring Winchester as the birthplace of beer cheese. Another law re-classifies a handful of Kentucky cities as larger than they really are.
Many of the bills Kentucky lawmakers passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session are still awaiting action by Gov. Steve Beshear. Beshear has not yet signed or vetoed high-profile bills that would prepare Kentucky to grow industrial hemp, allow alcohol sales on election day and simplify voting for military service members stationed overseas.
With the Kentucky General Assembly adjourned for the year, a look into lobbying spending during the session shows major dollars are still used to influence issues.
During the first two months of this year's session, a total of $4.2 million was spent lobbying. That's a 10 percent increase over the last 30-day session in 2011, according to Legislative Ethics Commission.