Still time to consider high profile bills, legislators say

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) – Some high-profile bills remain for Kentucky lawmakers to consider during this year’s session of the General Assembly.

Thursday is the halfway point for this year’s legislative session. There are still a lot of bills left to be passed. In fact, only three bills have been made law.

A big question for this session: will sports betting or medical marijuana gain any more traction this year?

Bills on those topics passed the House in 2022 but failed to get a vote in the Senate. This year, there is a medical marijuana bill that could be called up for a vote in the Senate first.

“There are conversations taking place about a narrowly constructed medical marijuana bill. That would not involve any combustibles, only edibles,” said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown.

That’s good news for Eric Crawford, who has pushed for legislation and personal relief for years at the state capital.

“I have safe access to cannabis. But I can get in trouble with the law for it. So, if the bill passes, I won’t be a criminal anymore,” Crawford said.

Sports betting, which is legal in several surrounding states, is also still out there. A House bill filed Wednesday would allow bets both on electronic devices and at facilities on both college and pro games.

Senator David Yates, D-Louisville, also has his own bill in that chamber.

“You can do it online, access, you do it on your phone. It is better for us to do it here, be responsible, and regulate it,” Sen. Yates said. “Make sure we can benefit from it, collect the taxes from it. As opposed to ignore it and not act.”

Legislative leaders tell us there was never the intent to pass a lot of high-profile bills this session. Mainly they wanted to make technical corrections, fine-tune some issues and save some other things for next year, or a longer session.

Lawmakers will meet through March 16, then adjourn for a veto session before coming back on March 29, then close out the session on March 30.

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