The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the latest maps of state legislative districts are unconstitutional.
Lawmakers approved new lines for state House and Senate districts earlier this year. But a circuit court judge declared them unconstitutional, citing a precedent that districts can't be more than five percent larger or smaller than their ideal size. Lawyers for the Legislative Research Commission promptly appealed the ruling on behalf of House and Senate leadership.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to cancel an upcoming prayer breakfast in Frankfort, claiming it constitutes an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Group co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor sent Beshear a letter yesterday telling him she considers the annual event set for March 6 to be, in her words, unnecessary, divisive and not within the power of civil government. The breakfast is a longstanding tradition in Kentucky. Beshear has hosted a prayer breakfast every year since taking office in 2007.
The Kentucky Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a legislative redistricting case this morning. A circuit court judge ruled last week the new districts are out of balance and need to be redrawn to comply with the "one person, one vote" mandate in federal law. Challenges were quickly taken to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and then to the state Supreme Court. Redistricting occurs every 10 years to account for population changes reported in the U.S. Census.
Murray city officials decided to delay a vote yesterday on whether to require students to purchase a city sticker. The city council read the latest version of the resolution, which gives Murray State students a 30 day grace period to buy the sticker. The grace period would be extended to anyone who moves into or begins working in Murray after the June 1 deadline. The sticker would cost a pro-rated amount of 36 dollars for students if purchased between August and May; not having one could incur a 100 dollar fine.
Governor Steve Beshear’s expanded gambling amendment has failed in the state Senate.
The measure would have allowed for a public vote on whether to legalize casinos in the state. It fell seven votes short of the 23 it needed to move to the House. The shortfall was due largely to fractures in the Democratic caucus.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Senator Damon Thayer, says he’s finished with the issue after nine years of working on it.
A group of Murray citizens is once again mounting a counter attack to a circulating petition to allow the sale of packaged alcohol in the city. “Keep it out of Murray” spokesman and Memorial Baptist Church Pastor Martin Severns says their petition is a response to the Grow Murray Campaign. Severns says the Keep it Out petition would give residents two choices. He says,
“It will leave alcohol sales the way they are currently and that is for liquor by the drink or, if the city votes no on that, then it would do away with those alcohol sales.”
Kentucky lawmakers were reminded today of a 96 dog rescue in western Kentucky. The animals were retrieved in the community of Wingo through the efforts of Animal Rescue Corps. Corps President Scotlund Haisley was at the state capitol for ‘Humane Lobby Day.’
“We did 13 rescues last year large scale rescues and I’d say 90 percent of them were in the southern region,” said Haisley.
Almost a month after a cargo ship collision brought down part of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, area residents are still waiting to see what will be done to restore the crossing. State officials are considering a ferry service to move traffic across Kentucky Lake.
Kentucky's junior senator says it would be an honor to be considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Senator Rand Paul first discussed his higher aspirations at the beginning of this year. He said he wouldn't close the door on being a Vice Presidential candidate. After a speech in Louisville today, Paul held that door firmly open, saying he wants to be part of the national debate.