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Reporter Roundtable: Election-Year Politics Stalled Major Bills In 2014

Josh James

Capitol reporters offered their assessment of Kentucky's 2014 legislative session at a Commerce Lexington luncheon Friday.

Coming in for heavy criticism was the budget, which Herald-Leader investigative reporter John Cheves described as hardly “balanced.”

"They dipped into the Rainy Day fund again. They incurred even more debt than before. They didn't address the growing shortage in the teachers' pension, the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System," he said.

Ronnie Ellis with CNHI News said election-year politics likely played a major role in the failure of several initiatives – including casino gambling and a statewide smoking ban.

"I think it was the most dominant issue of the session," he told the audience.

The panel noted that many legislators left the chamber during floor votes to avoid going on the record as supporting controversial measures.

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