KENTUCKY (WEHT) Kentucky lawmakers are in the final hours of this year’s General Assembly session, with last minute passages of bills and overturning of Governor Andy Beshear’s vetoes. Bills covering sports betting, and charter schools are among those on the docket on the last days.
One bill whose fate hangs in the balance in Frankfort is the house bill allowing sports betting in the commonwealth. The House passed it earlier this year, but the senate hasn’t voted on it. State Senator Whitney Westerfield, R-Christian County, added 17 amendments. including one on time needed to set up state laws on sports betting.
“I wanted to give, if the bill came up, I wasn’t trying to kill it, I was going to vote no on it anyway, but even if you support the bill, these changes needed to be made,” he said.
It happens as lawmakers override several vetoes. including on setting up a funding plan for charter schools in Kentucky, and creates two pilot schools.
“The bill requires at least two charter schools, one in Jefferson County, one in northern Kentucky, and we think with the success of those schools, that this will expand to other parts of the state,” said Jim Waters of the Bluegrass Institute.
But Owensboro Public School Superintendent Matthew Constant says he worries about what it could do to public school districts where charter schools are set up.
“We’re concerned, just in the public education system, just to see how this is going to go, knowing that the bill language doesn’t really include a lot of oversight language. The company that would want to come in has to be included in the system,” he said.
Governor Beshear says he’s glad some bills that would help Kentuckians passed, but not with those that he says do more harm than good.
“And then we just saw some meanness, some bills that were passed that were not addressing any real challenge, and some bills that are really going to harm people,” he said during today’s press conference.
The sports betting bill was moved to the senate economic tourism and labor committee. We also reached out to State Representative Adam Koenig, who filed the bill, but he did not reply to our request for comment so far.
The legislature has a midnight deadline to get its work done..
(This story was originally published on April 14, 2022)