League Reports on Alcohol, Legislative Issues

The KBC Committee on Public Affairs has recently received the following information from Don Cole, executive director of the Kentucky League on Alcohol and Gambling Programs (Kentucky Ethics League), regarding upcoming alcohol sales expansion petitions in Kentucky and legislation pending in the General Assembly:

OWENTON — Efforts to expand the availability of alcohol in Owenton are under way. Nine hundred and one signatures are needed on a petition to call for an election.  The dry forces in Owen County circulated a petition stating their opposition to having a vote on alcohol. They collected 1,028 names and presented it to the Owen County judge executive and magistrates.

These citizens took an active position and got people together. If there is an election called for they are organized against the issue.

Estimates are that the election will cost approx $25,000. Also, since there is no jail in Owen County, police would have to transport those arrested on alcohol charges to neighboring counties which would add to the county’s costs.

HOPKINS COUNTY — Nortonville organizers did not get enough signers on their petition for alcohol expansion to call for an election. This is a dead issue at present.

EARLINGTON — People are working for and against alcohol sales expansion in Earlington. In order to hold the election on March 29. the city would have to close the school as the voting precinct is located in the school gym. There would also be significant costs associated with the election.

HOUSE BILL 299 — HB 299 deals with allowing the sale of alcohol on election day. If passed, the decision to allow these sales would be left to the county magistrates and/or the city councils. At present, the bill is still in committee. The bill has had two readings and is poised for the third which could happen at any time. After the third reading, the House would still have to vote on the issue and then send it to the Senate. Time in this General Assembly session is running out, however, and the Senate may not have time to deal with this issue even if it passes the House.

SENATE BILL 99 — SB 99, which would allow charities to have slot machines and other electronic gambling devices has not moved in committee at this point.


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