Politics & Government

Legislature approves bill to allow alcohol sales on Election Day

Lexington Herald-Leader

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky General Assembly gave final approval late Tuesday to a bill that would allow alcohol sales on Election Day.

Kentucky had been one of two states that did not allow Election Day alcohol sales. South Carolina is the other. In the past five years, similar bans have been lifted in Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Utah and West Virginia.

Alcohol sales in Kentucky had been prohibited while polls were open — from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. — on primary and general election days.

In other matters, the legislature:

■ Failed to redraw legislative district boundaries during the session that ended Tuesday night.

The House had approved a plan, but the Senate did not act on it or develop one of its own.

Always a divisive issue, redistricting is supposed to occur every 10 years to account for population changes captured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kentucky had major population shifts between 2000 and 2010, requiring reconfiguration of legislative districts in both the House and Senate.

The Kentucky Supreme Court struck down legislators' first effort last year, finding that the proposed districts weren't balanced by population and didn't comply with the federal and state "one person, one vote" mandate.

The Senate opted to wait until next year's legislative session to deal with redistricting, and decided not to act on the House-approved plan this year. Senate leaders said they wanted to pass both plans at the same time.

The legislature did successfully redraw Congressional district boundaries prior to the 2012 election.

■ Considered House Bill 57, which would allow Lexington to raise its hotel tax from 6 percent to 7 percent. The Senate approved the measure late Tuesday, but the bill's status in the House was uncertain at presstime.

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