Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear accused Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, on Tuesday of trying to intimidate Republican senators who support Beshear's casino gambling proposal. "He is using intimidations and threats against fellow senators, including some in his own party," Beshear said. Williams denied Beshear's claim. He told reporters that he opposes the expansion of gambling in Kentucky, but that he is not punishing senators who support it. No one is losing their committee chairmanships or other choice assignments because they disagree with him, Williams said.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway would like see lawmakers increase funding for his agency by about four million dollars more than what’s recommended by the governor. The A-G appeared before the House Budget Subcommittee Tuesday. Conway asked members of the legislative panel to consider restoring funding to the 14 million dollars allocated in 2008. If the governor’s plan is passed, Conway says layoffs are possible.
Kentucky Senator Kathy Stein is celebrating a judge's decision to delay the filing deadline for candidates for the General Assembly. Stein was drawn out of her Lexington district when the Senate drafted new maps to reflect changes in population. She filed suit, arguing the new maps are unconstitutional. Today , a judge delayed the deadline for candidates to file so he can further review the case. Stein agrees the issue deserves more study.
A Franklin Circuit Court judge has pushed back the filling deadline for state legislative candidates. In response to a lawsuit claiming the new redistricting maps are unconstitutional, Judge Phillip Shepherd issued a restraining order moving the deadline back one week. Shepherd also set a hearing on the constitutionality argument for Monday morning.
A Lexington task force delivered its final recommendations today for a redesigned Rupp Arena and a new downtown convention center. Much of the design proposal for the Rupp Arena, Arts and Entertainment District has already been unveiled to the public in recent weeks. It features the same footprint to house University of Kentucky basketball games, but with a sleeker exterior and better fan experience. Luther Deaton, head of Central Bank, chaired the task force’s finance committee. He says there now needs to be a closer examination of funding options.
Kentucky needs money to fix its broken bridges but the federal fund that pays for such repairs is running a deficit. That’s why Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield wants the federal government to borrow billions of dollars so states like Kentucky can fund the work.
Though it may not have generated the political heat that accompanied state congressional redistricting, the redrawing of Urban County Council districts will also leave many in Lexington with new representation. Every ten years, council districts are redrawn to reflect shifts in population. This year's changes will affect about 33-thousand residents.
Candidates for Lexington's Urban County Council had until four o'clock this afternoon to file to run in the November election and, as Josh James reports, a number of familiar faces have chosen to let that deadline expire.
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is trying to better handle the growing number of visitors to the six distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and has hired its first-ever trail manager. “I think where I can step in is to suggest, hey if you’ve done this one here’s how you can check out some of these others. Here’s some other things to do in the area. So I think that’s one of the things that will be job one with me,” said Adam Johnson, currently serving as executive director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau.