CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
This legislative session has taken on a quirky feel to this legislator. The adrenalin of the early weeks of the session wore out as we watched paint dry in our meetings and on the House floor. By the time these mid-session weeks rolled around, I know YOU were anxious to see something happen. So when the flurry of activity over redistricting began, we were just happy having the issue on the table and subject to public scrutiny. Public policy was, again, being well thought out and vetted with consensus being arrived at across party lines…
Well that dog didn’t hunt long as the KY Supreme Court accepted our appeal from the Franklin Circuit Court’s redistricting decision. The high court began hearing oral arguments and its own deliberations on the plan this week. We are, again, in a wait and hear mode for the redistricting decision of the Supremes.
Thankfully, now just about midway the session, the pace continues to build. The Budget, of course, is the focus of attention as our various sub-committees continue to work. And as plans to build Patton U., eh, Pikeville University receive more public attention, there is a growing discussion of the need for — the impact of — and the statewide consequences for creating this proposed new institution. This will be an entertaining discussion, if for no other reason than it involves a number of high profile, well respected politicos.
Speaking of…. Governor Beshear’s plan for a Constitutional Amendment being on the ballot to expand gaming is yet again a major item of interest thanks to Sen. Damon Thayer. President David Williams and Speaker Greg Stumbo would have preferred a simpler proposal from the Governor. Others, like former Gov. Brereton Jones, argue the Governor’s proposal doesn’t go far enough to help the horse industry in the state. The Family Foundation hopes to see the bill die in the Senate.
Outside the state, others are not waiting. Ohio is betting big on casinos with plans to open new ones in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. In the meantime, they want to roll out thousands of video lottery terminals at temporary racinos by this fall. We will start talking about it again this week….
SO, HERE’S WHERE YOUR BUTTER GETS CHURNED:
THE BRIDGE IS OPEN….THE BRIDGE IS OPEN!!
I don’t have to tell you WHICH bridge is open. Both Sherman and Minton are high fiving every angel they can find – wherever they are. Most of us are saying, “Hallelujah” …as is the repair company. They just pocketed over $1M for finishing up early and on budget. Amen, Brothers and Sisters.! We’re happy for ya.
The House Transportation Committee approved HB 133, which will allow drivers of slow-moving, motorless vehicles like Amish buggies to substitute colorless reflective tape for the triangular orange safety emblem now required by state law – as long as they’re not on the Sherman-Minton! Kentucky’s Amish community reportedly prefers the proposed use of white or silver reflective tape on the rear of their buggies to orange emblem, which many Amish say has a gaudy shape and color that violates their religious beliefs.
Concern for the growing number of Kentucky citizens with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, led to House approval of a simple resolution last week that urges larger cities to better train their emergency personnel to deal with dementia patients. House Resolution 25, which was unanimously approved by the House, asks cities of at least 25,000 people to provide dementia training for Police, EMTs and Fire Fighters. We also adjourned the House in honor of the Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s.
The intentional viewing of child pornography—which is not yet a crime under Kentucky law–would become a felony under a bill that cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Currently, only the possession, not the viewing, of child pornography, is illegal. However, the ubiquitous use of the Internet has made child pornography more readily available than ever before. HB 126 will be before the entire House for consideration and will make intentional, deliberate viewing of a minor in a sexual performance a Class D felony carrying up to five years in prison. Only those who must view child pornography as part of a law enforcement investigation would be exempt from the legislation, although it would not apply to those who inadvertently view child pornography during an Internet search, for example.
Question of the Week – Mark Twain. Why was he so right???
Ok, for those of you who don’t get it, he wrote that he wanted to be in Kentucky when the flood, or some such calamity hits…..because in Kentucky everything happens 20 years later… remember now??
Call me directly at 502.564.8100 or write me at Rm. 329C, Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601. I’m also on FACEBOOK so hit me up there or online at Reginald.Meeks@lrc.ky.gov or at http://reginaldmeeks.com. To reach any particular legislator, contact our toll – free number at 800.372.7181. For the deaf or hard-of-hearing, that number is 800.896.0305.