Legislation approved in the now completed 2015 Kentucky General Assembly means a major increase in the number of early child care facilities that are evaluated. Additional reviews will come over the next few years.
Physical inactivity could be considered a polite way of saying someone is 'sitting around too much.' There was a lot of talk about that subject Wedneday at the Physical Activity Across the Lifespan Conference in Lexington.
Many of the workshops at the day-long event focused on exercise. The keynote address came from Duke Professor of Medicine, Bill Kraus. "So the lack of physical activity is a disease because it leads to disease," said Kraus. "And then the question is, how much exercise do you have to do to prevent that worsening over time?"
The Kentucky legislature has acted to stem the drop in gas tax revenues that are used to repair and build roads across the Commonwealth. Passage of a measure to stabilize the state's road fund was a priority of Governor Beshear's.
Officially, it came very early Wednesday morning when House members put their stamp of approval on the gas tax agreement. Owensboro Representative Tommy Thompson voted yes. "We need our roads for convenience, we need them to be safe, but we need them for commerce," said Thompson.
After years of debate in Frankfort, the state legislature has approved a measure to add civil protections for dating couples. The legislation has passed in the Democratic House numerous times, but fallen short in the Republican led Senate. Louisville Representative Joni Jenkins, who worked at the Center for Women and Families for a decade, called the passage a 'long time coming.' "I know that this is gonna be a great tool for especially college campuses, whereas none of those protections would have applied to folks,” said Jenkins.
Kentucky's vehicle booster seat law is getting an upgrade. Final approval came last night at the state Capital. The measure increases the height restriction to include any child under 57 inches and applies to children under age eight. Louisville Representative Steve Riggs says the new standards will protect more children. "Several hundred accidents a year involving children and it will help make sure that the seat belt, the restraint is in the right place," said Riggs.
Northern Kentucky Representative Dennis Keene has been working for six years to help pass an ignition interlock bill and now passage appears closer than ever. The modified bill needs to see action Tuesday, if it's to clear during this session. Keene almost lost his daughter to a drunk driver. "It's not everything that we wanted in the House, but it's definitely gonna save lives and that's what's important,” said Keene. “It doesn't matter who's name's on it. It just matters that it accomplishes and saves families anguish of losing their children."
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is backing a proposal to prohibit the use of Lasix in some races. The Courier Journal reports the commission approved the regulation Monday. The rule would ban the drug from being used within 24 hours of post times for particular races. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer believes it's the right move to make. "I do know that it is therapeutic for horses, but I also believe there is good evidence that it is performance enhancing and the public perception is it's performance enhancing," said Thayer.
Kentucky lawmakers have yet to reach agreement on what many consider to be this session's priority issue. Legislators are working until the final hours of the 2015 session trying to reach consensus on a bill aimed at reducing the state's heroin problem.
Several high school students continue to let their voices be heard in Frankfort, but it may not result in the action they seek. A number of sign carrying students rallied Monday in support of legislation to add student representation on school superintendent search committees. Students are hoping for a last minute push to get the bill through the Kentucky general assembly. It’s passage became more questionable after the state senate attached an amendment related to school bathroom regulations and transgender students. Some members of the House have indicated inclusion of that amendment
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EKU President Michael Benson Connects with Board Chair Craig Turner Through Face Time
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Friday approved a new student fee that would help support renovation and construction of a student center and recreation facilities. Passage of this fee is just one piece of a broader campus development plan.
Under the proposal, students would start paying $150 per semester beginning this summer. EKU officials are preparing to ask the state legislature in 2016 to borrow $60 million to renovate the student center and build a new recreation facility.
Kentucky lawmakers say they’ve come a long way in coming up with a legislative solution to the state’s heroin epidemic, but no consensus has emerged on the biggest sticking point—how to punish heroin traffickers.
Kentucky is one of 10 states chosen to develop a model program to assist those who are long-term unemployed and on food stamps. The Commonwealth will receive almost $20 million from the federal government to support the pilot program. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Thursday in Lexington. "We're now in a position to say, 'here's resources, figure out how to link these people,'" said Vilsack. "You know, these are not people who are gonna be easy to employ; they may have been unemployed for an extended period of time."
Incoming Lexington Social Services Commissioner Chris Ford says the goal in his new position is to excel in existing programs, while further expanding in areas like drug abuse and violence intervention. Ford is giving up his seat on the Lexington Council to serve in the position.
Five barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon were found behind a shed, and a Franklin County man has been charged, according to Franklin Sheriff Pat Melton. Photo courtesy of the sheriff's office.
Wild Turkey officials say there were no signs anyone had broken into a Kentucky warehouse where five barrels of aging bourbon were taken in a heist that led authorities to a backyard where the whiskey was found.
A proposal to raise the minimum wage in Lexington got its first public hearing at city hall Tuesday afternoon. The plan would increase the city's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 over the next three years. When the committee hearing ended, 19 people testified. April Taylor is in favor of raising the minimum wage. "We can support the pursuit of profit at all costs, or we can chose to care about women, children, and families," said Taylor.
Governor Beshear is expressing confidence that Kentucky lawmakers will approve heroin and dating violence legislation next week. General Assembly members return Monday for the two final days of the 2015 session. Beshear expects passage on both pieces of legislation. "There's so much pressure from the public behind both of those bills, so that I don't really think these folks will leave here on March 24 without having accomplished both of those things," said Beshear.
Tax breaks related to the high profile Breeders Cup Championships at Keeneland have been signed into law. The ceremony was held Tuesday at the state capitol. The law exempts the pari-mutuel tax on wagering on live races during the two-day event. Breeders Cup President Craig Fravel says when it was held in California, the event had an $80 million impact on the local economy. "When you combine this year's event with the thoroughbred sales that will follow immediately, you're gonna have people coming to Lexington, coming to Kentucky for a much longer period of time that has historically b
From left to right: John Hingsbergen, Dr. Peter Kraska
Credit Richard Turner
In recent decades, the distinctions between police and the military have increasingly clouded. On this week's program, we will meet Eastern Kentucky University's Dr. Peter Kraska, a leading scholar of policing and criminal justice as we discuss Expanded Police Militarization.
Listen to the full audio of this edition of Eastern Standard.