It may have been a gamble the governor lost on. Proposing a constitutional amendment to expand casinos. That and a 70 cent cigarette tax were pushed by Governor Beshear to help erase a reported $900 million dollar shortfall. Both failed..but a $19 billion dollar budget was still passed. The Governor then vetoed 10 items including money for broadband internet expansion and tree nurseries.
“Those are the only two tree nurseries in the state, public or private. I'm told. And that's where everyone gets their trees for restoration,” said House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green.
The governor signed more than 100 bills into law. One law sets new standards and protections for child sexual abuse. There's a new way for victims of gas station drive offs to get their money back plus penalties. And after multiple attempts and failures...there's finally a booster seat law that requires children under 7 to ride in booster seats..or their parents could face a penalty beginning next year. But many other issues have fallen by the way side.
“I think it's been kind of a tough session really,” said Richards.
The House Speaker says they did pass a lean budget but compared to recent sessions few laws have passed. And some worry unfinished work here could result in the Governor calling lawmakers back later in the year.
“We have to do a bonding mechanism as soon as possible to take care of our highways. If we don't, we could be called back into special session,” said Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville.