Little money for programs and failure of casino bill lead to 'one of the worst sessions,' Burch says

04/05/2012 05:35 PM

Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, called the 2012 session “one of the worst” since he first joined the legislature in 1972 because of a lack of state money compared to education and social services needs.

Burch, the House health and welfare committee chairman, said the General Assembly did come through by passing some worthwhile programs. For instance, he said one of the few highlights of the session was including $1 million in state dollars to match private funds for colon cancer screening. (0:30)

But outside of that and the $21 million in extra funding for social workers that the governor proposed, none of the other big-ticket initiatives Gov. Steve Beshear pushed for made it through so far. Beshear’s proposal to allow casino gambling failed in the state Senate despite it being carried by a Senate Republican.

“I think it was one of the worst sessions,” Burch said, citing as reasons the lack of money and the failure of the casino bill to pass. Burch said allowing casinos would increase state revenues. He blamed the failure on the Republican-led Senate.

“I think the breakdown was they just didn’t want to give this governor any money” to work with, Burch said. (3:50)

But when pressed, Burch said Beshear has struggled to get his priorities through because “he probably hasn’t been aggressive enough.” (5:00)


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