Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Legislator’s Log - Week of January 19, 2014

yonts c 300KENTUCKY (1/19/14) - Lots of ideas are being floated this legislative session about how we lawmakers can best address an expected shortfall (of at least $370 million) in the state’s General Fund over the next two years. Tax reform, additional budget reductions, and authorization of casino gaming at racetracks and a few off-track sites are among them.

And while legislation filed in the current legislative session addressing those topics has yet to be called for a vote in committee, two casino gaming bills were heard by the House Licensing and Occupations Committee last Wednesday.

One of the bills (House Bill 67) would place a constitutional amendment on statewide ballot allowing voters to decide whether to permit casinos in Kentucky; the other (HB 68) is so-called “enabling legislation” that would set up the structure for governance of eight full-service casinos and the collection—and spending—of at least $245 million in annual state revenues that those casinos are expected to earn.

Now, there is at least one other piece of casino legislation pending in the Senate that is sponsored by Senate leadership, so any legislation heard by lawmakers at this point in the session is likely to be amended to make it amenable to both chambers. That said, HB 68 clearly sets out rules for licensing, taxation and fees for the eight casinos—including five “racing association casinos” connected to the state’s five thoroughbred race tracks and three non-racing casinos to be located in counties bordering another state.

The eight casinos, according to a legislative fiscal note, are expected to generate a total of around $830 million in adjusted gross revenue when fully operational. That revenue, in turn, would generate an estimated $245 million in annual state revenue -- in addition to around $400 million in initial casino license fees based on a $50 million initial license fee required of each of the eight casinos.

How revenue generated by the casinos would be used is clearly spelled out as well: funding of the Kentucky Gaming Commission--created by HB 68 to regulate the new casinos--and $2 million for the state compulsive gamblers assistance account would come off the top of funds in the gaming account. Remaining dollars in the account would be transferred to the General Fund. Of money in that fund, 50 percent would go toward education; 10 percent would go to the state public pension stabilization fund; four percent would go toward substance abuse treatment; and 25 percent would go toward other purposes determined by legislation.

For the horse industry, casinos would set aside specific amounts of their receipts to boost track purses and fund capital improvement to “backside” racing facilities, while thoroughbred and standardbred racing casinos would be required to pay around 14.3 percent of adjusted gaming receipts for increased purses, breeder incentives, racehorse retirement efforts, and other needs.

Many say this is the year to pass the legislation, although there are different ideas in the House and Senate on how to go about wording the amendment and drafting related legislation. I am sure we will all be watching closely to see how the legislation—and issue, in general—evolves during this 2014 Regular Session.

Many bills began to make their way through committees last week, and we saw passage of a few bills on the floor of the House. One of those was HB 66, which would allow the creation of public benefit corporations in Kentucky. Commonly called “B Corps,” public benefit corporations often require a corporation to state a specific public benefit in their charter. HB 66 is modeled after Delaware’s B Corps law which is designed to use the power of private enterprise for a public purpose. HB 66 passed the House by a vote of 58-34 and now goes to the Senate for a vote.

Also passed by the House and on its way to the Senate is HB 70, a perennial House measure that would allow Kentucky voters to decide by constitutional amendment whether or not to automatically restore voting rights for nonviolent felons who have served their sentence or completed probation or parole. HB 70 passed the House by a vote of 82-12 with bipartisan support, and is expected to come to a vote in the Senate in coming days.

Let me return now to the state budget: this session is what we lawmakers call a “budget session” because it requires us to pass a state spending plan for the next two years. Our budget review subcommittees will soon begin hearing from state agencies and others concerning their financial needs for the next two years. We will also hear from the Governor on Tuesday, Jan. 21 when he explains the state’s biennial budget needs in his planned budget address.

There will be much to talk about on this subject, other more, as the session progresses. So be sure and stay in touch, and stay informed.

Rep. Brent Yonts

Please share your ideas with me by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also send me a letter addressed to: Rep. Brent Yonts, Capitol Annex, Rm. 366 A, 702 Capitol Ave., Frankfort KY 40601.



© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14

SurfKY TV

2/6/2014 - posted

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,372.53
+177.11 (1.03%)    
2 S&P 2,014.06
+19.41 (0.97%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,625.93
+59.79 (1.31%)    
2/6/2014 - posted
2/6/2014 - posted

In Other News...

Pet Lovers United Trying to Save Sassy in Nick of Time

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (10/30/14) — Pet Lovers United, Inc. is looking for a home for a 15-year-old black and white cocker… Read More

UPDATE: Missing Elderly Couple Found

UPDATE: DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (10/30/14) ― The Frosts have been located safe and sound in Louisville, according to the… Read More
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week

October 29, 2014 9108

UPDATE: Medical Examiner's Official Report…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Dennis Thomas
October 27, 2014 6227

Earlington Woman Charged With Burglary for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 29, 2014 4453

UPDATE: Two More Arrested for Meth at Area Motel

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 27, 2014 4448

Baptist Health Madisonville Performs Baptist…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
October 28, 2014 4297

UPDATE: 'Runner' Ran Home; Family Happy

in Hopkins News by Lisa Crook
October 29, 2014 4238

Central City Businessman Indicted by Grand Jury…

in Top News For All Sites by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 28, 2014 3643

UPDATE: Extended to Wednesday; Heaven's Gates and…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 27, 2014 3441

Woman Charged for Domestic Assault with Scissors,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 28, 2014 3339

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 30, 2014 3033

Three Injured When Pickup Truck Overturns

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Stories Trending Today

October 30, 2014 3033

Three Injured When Pickup Truck Overturns

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 30, 2014 2648

UPDATE: Missing Elderly Couple Found

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chief William C. Crider
October 30, 2014 1800

Man Charged with Criminal Abuse of 2-Year-Old Girl

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Lt. Charles Young II
October 30, 2014 1724

Man Accused of Using Bass Guitar to Strike…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 30, 2014 1424

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 30, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 30, 2014 1307

Political Races Affecting Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 1267

Man Charged for Criminal Trespassing at Cross…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 30, 2014 1117

Bond, Conditions Set for Central City Man Accused…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 1084

MCTI to Present 'Anne of Green Gables'

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 1084

Golden Arches Added to City’s Eastern Skyline;…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss