Gambling brings social ills that will offset any tax revenue to Kentucky, argued a new group that rallied Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda. About 30 people joined the group Stop Predatory Gambling Kentucky for the rally, where speakers dismissed efforts in the General Assembly to expand gambling through casinos or Instant Racing.
The House State Government committee has advanced a new redistricting map to the House floor after weeks of closed door debate.
Last year's state House and Senate districts were ruled unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court after House GOP members challenged them in court. The new House districts would create seven new districts all across Kentucky, where no current lawmakers reside.
The Kentucky House passed a perennial proposal yesterday to create a system of public financing for Supreme Court races. Democratic state Representative Jim Wayne says the legislation would ensure that the Commonwealth's top court isn't influenced by private campaign donors. The measure now goes to the Senate where it faces dim prospects.
Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the the legislation this session. The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.
A bill moving Medicaid managed care late payments to the Department of Insurance's review process has overwhelmingly passed the state House. The measure passed on a unanimous vote of 99-0.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the bill sponsor and says his goal is to make sure health care providers start getting paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, which has been a problem since the MCO system was implemented.
"Because if claims are in fact being withheld unfairly, this will remedy that," Stumbo said. "If claims are being changed as far as the criteria goes in the claims process after they've been submitted this will change that."
Legislative pension reform is progressing through the Kentucky General Assembly. Senate Bill 7 would keep new legislators from participating in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System. It is aimed at preventing the addition of new burdens to Kentucky's pension system, despite the fact that legislator's pensions are generally well-funded.
Senate President Robert Stivers praised the bipartisan effort in his chamber to solve Kentucky's underfunded pension problem.
The House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.
The House passed an amended version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.