Around the South for January 24th: VA, KY, & TN

Virginia: General Assembly ponders casinos.  Legislation that would allow 5 Virginia cities to vote on constructing a casino passed out of a Senate committee this week, moving one step closer to legalizing gambling in the state.  State officials, including Gov. Ralph Northam, have said they’d prefer to hold off on passing such legislation until they can study the issue further.  Kentucky: Grimes won’t run for gov.  Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday that she will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor, pointing to the fact that she had her first child in December.  So far four Democrats, including Attorney General Andy Beshear and House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins have announced their campaigns in the race to unseat Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who has said he will run for re-election.  Tennessee: Lee issues executive order on rural development.  Newly sworn in Gov. Bill Lee issued his first executive order this week, aimed at aiding economically distressed rural counties.  Helping rural areas was a key part of Lee’s platform for governor, and his executive order would require all state executive departments to provide recommendations for how they can better serve rural Tennessee.  Rural broadband, vocational training, and increased access to healthcare are all potential avenues for improvement in the state.