Today marks the official halfway point of the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly. So far there’s no gambling amendment, no final redistricting plan, and no budget. I’m willing to concede the budget always comes last in the session so lawmakers are off the hook for now on that issue. As for everything else–not so much.
A possible vote on expanded gaming by the public is now dead and buried. Possibly for good. The Senate strongly shot it down 21-16, so it accomplished two things. Killing the bill, and killing once and for all, the idea that Senate President David Williams would not allow a vote on the measure. That was always Governor Steve Beshear’s fall-back position when he was asked why his pet policy could never get traction. Vote taken. End of story. But you know this will come back in some form every year as long as Beshear is Governor.
As for redistricting? The lawsuit against the proposed plan made it to the Kentucky Supreme Court and was heard on Friday. A unanimous decision came down Friday afternoon proclaiming that all lawmakers will run in their old districts come May for primaries and in November. This means that Kentucky lawmakers managed to monumentally screw up something they are only required to do every ten years.
Of course if the General Assembly knew how to play nice and actually use the criteria that is required for redistricting, this wouldn’t have happened at all. But David Williams–yes the same one from the gaming vote–decided playing politics was more fun and thought he’d redistrict the entire city of Lexington to be represented by a Senator from Owensboro. That’s only the most egregious example of rank partisanship. There are many others which are part of the plan, but that one pretty much spell out how awful the proposal really is. So instead of doing their constitutional duty, SOME lawmakers in Frankfort decided to screw up redistricting so badly that it has to be taken to court. Costing you–the voters and their constituents more money.
I hope these folks remember that constituents vote. For or against them.