Stu Johnson

With just under three weeks of Kentucky legislative activity on the books, leaders of the General Assembly remain unsure when action on pension reforms will occur. No pension bill has been filed thus far in the House or Senate.

firstyearcourses.eku.edu

The director of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation says it’s a fact of life that most students attending college take on some debt.

 

Eugene Hutchins appeared before members of the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education Thursday. Hutchins says families going “over their head” with debt is not the best plan for the family or student. “I think what we encourage for families as far as their planning process to factor in what the cost of debt is going to be in where they are choosing to go to school,” said Hutchins. 

 

Children's Advocates Converge on the State Capitol

Jan 18, 2018
Stu Johnson

Kentuckians working to help at risk and abused children came to the state capitol today.  Children’s Advocacy Day began with a rotunda rally.

The message was clear, ‘vote for kids.’  Those votes could cover everything from school funding to foster care to adoption. Jane Herms is director of the Family Nurturing Center in Northern Kentucky, which is a child abuse prevention and treatment facility.  Herms says lobbying state lawmakers is a key part of the effort to help kids.

Cannabis Bill is Filed in Kentucky Senate

Jan 18, 2018
Stu Johnson

Legislation to legalize cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use is before members of the Kentucky Senate.  Louisville Senator Dan Seum held a news conference Wednesday and then filed the bill. 

The Louisville senator was asked about dealing with moral or religious objections.
 

“It’s out there.  We’re using it anyway.  We might as well reap the harvest so to speak,” said Seum 

Stu Johnson

Bevin’s budget bill keeps per-pupil funding for Kentucky’s public education students at $3,981 per student, but chips away at support programs and requires local school districts to pay a larger share of student transportation costs.

Administration officials say budget pressures created by the pension crisis has made it “harder to protect” public education from cuts.

publicnewsservice.org

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee is recommending Kentucky’s cigarette tax increase by at least one dollar. That action came following a hearing on the proposal brought by health and business advocates.

Cancer center directors from both the University of Kentucky and university of Louisville and a representative from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce made their case for raising the cigarette tax.  In addition to individual health benefits, lowering workforce absences are also cited by proponents. 

Governor Outlines Budget Calling for 6.25% Cut

Jan 16, 2018
Stu Johnson

Gov. Matt Bevin proposed cutting most state spending by 6.25 percent over the next two years and eliminating 70 programs across state government during his budget address Tuesday evening.

The new proposal comes after Bevin signed a two-year budget that cut most state spending by nine percent in 2016.

Stu Johnson

Gov. Matt Bevin covered lots of ground in last night’s State of the Commonwealth and Budget address. That included a glimpse into the future funding of corrections and higher education.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has offered his eighth ‘State of the City’ address to city, civic, and business leaders Tuesday.  The two term mayor spent much time recapping his seven years in office.

Gray talked about going from financial straits to budget surpluses, expanding the convention center and building an eye-catching park in the heart of downtown. 

 

Severe Weather Impacting Travel, Schools

Jan 16, 2018

Snow across the Bluegrass created slick driving conditions in the Bluegrass Tuesday. And while snow stopped late this afternoon, frigid temperatures remain in the forecast through Friday.

“We’re asking our citizens to be cautious and patient,” Mayor Jim Gray said.

Eastern Kentucky University officials also announced on Tuesday that Model Lab and all EKU campuses will be closed on Wednesday due to severe weather. For more information go online.

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Ohio Valley ReSource

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Donald Trump loves coal.

He campaigned on a promise to put miners back to work and his first year in office included numerous Ohio Valley visits to highlight coal’s importance.

“I love our coal miners and they’re coming back strong!” Trump said to a roaring crowd at an Augustrally in Huntington, West Virginia.

Mary Meehan

A small gaggle of reporters points their microphones at reproductive rights activist Marcie Crim as she bluntly decries  the shrinking access to abortion in the region. Crim stands just a few feet from the open door of the office of Governor Matt Bevin near the Capitol rotunda. Crim and Bevin may be physically close in in this situation, but they could not be further apart on the issue.They personify the opposing poles of the decades-old debate surrounding abortion.

Bevin has been vocally supportive of legislative restrictions on abortion access such as longer waiting periods.

Analysis Shows Toxic Sites In Flood Zone

Jan 2, 2018
Wikipedia Commons User Markzvo

The Ohio Valley has long been home to some of the dirtiest industries in the nation. Coal, plastics, and chemical plants and their waste sites dot our river valleys. Even those no longer operational leave their legacy in the soil and water.

Distler Farm sits just on the outskirts of Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Its pastoral name is misleading. During the 1970s it served as a landfill for liquid waste, including medical and agricultural refuse.

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