2012 legislative session begins in Frankfort

About 300 bills await lawmakers action over the next 60 days, this being the even year session with legislators meeting about mid-April. The most important item Is the budget, and most agree it’s going to be tough.
“We have serious and daunting issues in Kentucky, financially,” said Sen. President David Williams, R-Burkesville when speaking with reporters after the 2012 session started Tuesday.
Williams says he’s eagerly waiting to hear proposals on the spending plan….and many other issues facing the state. One of the biggest….and most controversial deals with casino gambling.
“We agree that we ought to put the issue on the ballot, I think in general we agree it needs to be simple language,” said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown. But Williams also said that Thayer’s ideas do not have the backing of all Republicans in the Senate.
Last year a bill to make pseudoephedrine a prescription only drug to curb meth production never got a vote in the full Senate. The sponsor expects a more successful path this year.
“Because meth labs are going to get worse and worse, and keep growing,” said Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London.
Education issues are always big…and some believe charter schools are gaining momentum.
“I think anytime we have a new idea about education, we should listen. But I have reservations because we can’t allow public schools to be impacted negatively,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg.
“We’ve missed out on significant funding in Kentucky as far as Race to the Top, because we didn’t have charter schools,” said Williams.
The first item tackled will likely be redistricting, that is drawing new legislative and congressional boundary lines because of changes in the recent census. Hearings on that could begin on Thursday.

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