General Assembly Set to Adjourn Without Action On Key Issues

Despite a last minute push by Governor Beshear, there probably wont be action on a number of legislative items that were aimed at boosting the Kentucky economy.

It now appears the 2009 general assembly will end Thursday.

There were a handful of bills that could have received a last minute push. Several of them involved economic incentives and entertainment venues in northern and southern Kentucky.

House members went behind closed doors to vote on whether to suspend their rules mandating that the final 2 days of the legislature are meant only to consider vetoes. But 20 minutes later, they came out with the nearly unanimous decision to not consider any more bills.

"There are still some issues out there, but nothing that can't wait until a later date," said Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg.

But that's a big disappointment to Governor Steve Beshear who was hoping on some last minute action on legislation that could have lured a big time NASCAR race, and millions of dollars, to Kentucky Speedway.

"Here we have a company who is ready to perhaps invest $50 to $75 million to renovate and expand Kentucky Speedway, if the incentives are in place, " said Gov. Beshear, D-Kentucky.

The lack of action also means those at some venues hoping to sell alcohol, such as the newly opened arena in Corbin, will have to wait.

Despite the apparent failure to pass a number of 11th hour issues, many are calling the 2009 session a rousing success.

On Thursday, Gov. Beshear signed a handful of bills, including one to cut down on internet crimes and cyberstalking of young people, House Bill 315.

"This has been one of the most productive sessions I believe in anyone's memory," said Gov. Beshear, who also noted the bi-partisan effort to pass legislation to plug a $456 million shortfall.

The governor signed about 100 bills out of 700 filed. Unless there is a special session, lawmakers will not come back to Frankfort until January of 2010.

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