Less than 24 hours after Kentucky voters maintained the 54-46 Democratic majority in the state House of Representatives, the chamber’s leaders announced their agenda for the 2015 legislative session.
“We want to thank the voters for their support and for giving us the opportunity to move ahead with those ideas that are important to them and that help all Kentucky families succeed,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said. “Our Democratic caucus has made an effort in recent years to distance itself from the policies and gridlock we have seen coming from Washington, and the voters rallied behind that.”
It’s day one of what Kentucky lawmakers hope will be a quick special legislative session devoted to creating new redistricting maps. Both Republicans and Democrats have unveiled proposed maps, and lawmakers from parties have said they believe an agreement can be reached by Friday. The latest redistricting effort has dragged on over a year, with one set of maps being thrown out by the state supreme court in 2012. That’s leading some to wonder if Kentucky should consider creating an independent committee that would be in charge of creating new legislative maps every ten years. Daviess County Democratic Representative Tommy Thompson said it’s an idea he’d consider.
Kentucky House Democrats have advanced their legislative redistricting plan today which would see Democrat and Republican incumbents competing in the same districts. This comes a week after GOP legislators revealed their proposal. Democratic Representative Tommy Thompson said their plan follows the “one person, one vote” mandate. But, he said he knows some of his colleagues will be unhappy with the idea of having to run against someone in their own party.
Many early Rock & Roll stars hailed from the historic Jackson Purchase, including Carl Perkins and Scotty Moore. After 1952, many of them gravitated to Memphis, Tennessee to record with Sam Phillips at Sun Records. The Sun roster reads like a who's who of Rock & Roll: Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis... and a western Kentucky truck driver named Ray Smith. In 1959, Smith's Sun single "Rockin' Little Angel" hit number one, and through he never returned to the top of the U.S. charts, he continued to tour the world and record until his death in 1979. Paducah native Tommy Thompson knew and played with Ray Smith, and tonight (July 25), at the McCracken County Public Library, he presents a program on this rockabilly pioneer's life and career. Todd Hatton spoke with Thompson to get a preview.