Legislative session may start gaining steam soon

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Tuesday marked day 10 of the 30-day legislative session. Thus far, no legislation has cleared both chambers, but House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, expects the pace to pick up soon.

Removing the six percent sales tax on admission for events held by non-profits is the subject of several bills that have been introduced. The collection began last year, after a ruling by the Revenue Cabinet.

Osborne says that issue is still on the front-burner. “We are continuing to work through some details on that, and I would expect you will likely see something on that before the end of the week.”

The admission tax exemption may not be all that appears in the bill when the House takes it up. “I think it will contain a lot of items.”

Sports gaming was another issue that received a lot of attention last year, and bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate. Osborne was asked if he thought it would clear the House.

“First of all, it has got to get through committee,” Osborne said. “We’ll see how it comes out of committee and will let it take its natural course.”

Even if a measure should clear the House it is not likely to pass in the Senate, and Go0v. Matt Bevin has not expressed support.

“That’s part of the process,” Osborne explained. “Anything that is along controversial lines, you always have to wonder about how it’s going to fare in the opposite chamber, how it may be received on the first floor. While those are certainly considerations, we can’t allow that to dictate our process and we’ll continue to allow it to move through the chamber like we would any other bill.”

A measure that would ban all abortions in Kentucky if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade is scheduled to be taken up by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. According to Osborne, that is the only pro-life bill scheduled for a hearing at this point. That includes a measure that would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is about six weeks after conception.

Reforming Kentucky’s cash bail system has also received a lot of attention but has seen no action. While Osborne says he supports some kind of reform “the county attorneys and the judges that came last week to testify on that, brought up some really valid points that need to be considered. I think we are probably a long way from consensus, but it’s still a very active conversation.”

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