Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week. Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling a top priority.
Although two major issues have been nearly resolved, Kentucky lawmakers still have a full agenda this session. Redistricting and expanded gambling dominated the first half of the session.
The gambling bill was defeated last week and redistricting was settled by the Kentucky Supreme Court. But that doesn’t mean the legislative work is over. Lawmakers still have a two-year budget to pass. Senate President David Williams says that's just one of several pressing issues.
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.