Leaders of both houses of the Kentucky general assembly remain committed to passage of legislation to address heroin problems. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers appeared Thursday on WEKU's Eastern Standard program. Both men are confident that a heroin bill will be passed this session.
Efforts to pass heroin legislation last spring fell apart at the end of the session. Neither leader is saying when final approval might come during the current session.
Democrats in the Kentucky Senate sent a formal letter to the chamber’s president expressing concern about the pace of bill consideration. Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones says the majority party’s method is not in line with a representative democracy. "Since the republicans took control of the state senate, the process has been a fast track, railroad type process to moving legislation," said Jones.
Testimony included Comments from Tom Shelton with the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
Legislation that would exempt officials with some Kentucky school construction projects from paying the prevailing wage easily cleared a senate committee Thursday. Bill Sponsor Wil Schroder told members more work could be done for less money, without jeopardizing the quality of the project.
Local government and business representatives testify before Senate Committee
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
Concerns about Kentucky's dwindling gas tax got a full review during a senate legislative committee Wednesday. The major worry from state lawmakers and local government leaders is how the drop in revenue effects the commonwealth’s road construction and maintenance fund.
The University of Kentucky released its 43rd state economic report Monday. Ken Troske with the Gatton College of Business and Economics says Kentucky will likely see moderate to slow growth in 2015. "I'd love to see three to four percent in the nation and in the state,” said Troske. “We just don't see the projections, given all of the other issues that are buffeting the economy, particularly some of the troubles in the rest of the world."
It was standing room only for a special ceremony Monday to recognize promotions within the Lexington police department. A long-time local religious leader offered some sentiments as the guest speaker.
Reverend Willis Polk says Lexington's police department features a 'good foundation' and 'good work performance standards.' Still, the Baptist preacher stressed the importance of having a heart, mind, and spirit for police work, and to do it with fairness and honesty.
Centre College is making public its campaign to raise $200 million. The private school in Danville has also announced the creation of the Lincoln Scholars program. Centre Vice President Richard Trollinger says an improving economy is welcomed news. "I've been involved in a number of campaigns over the last 40 years, and I've never gone public with a campaign when the economic conditions appear to be so favorable," said Trollinger.
The Centre College capital campaign is scheduled to end January 21, 2019, a date that coincides with the school's bicentennial.
The Kentucky League of Cities is heading to Frankfort this week with a full legislative agenda. Near the top are two long standing issues: stabilization of funding for emergency 9-1-1 services, and giving cities the option of pursuing a local sales tax.
From left: Greg Stumbo, Robert Stivers, John Hingsbergen
Credit Richard Turner
As the 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly re-convenes, what issues are on your mind? The Local Option Sales Tax? A statewide smoke-free policy? An increase in the state's minimum wage? We're taking the show on the road to the State Capitol to speak with House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers.
Send your feedback to: WEKU@eku.edu, post on Facebook, send a tweet @889weku or call 859-622-1657
Last week, we reported that our engineers were getting ready to make repairs to the transmitter for 88.9 in the Richmond, Lexington and Central Kentucky. Well, instead of improving, the signal has gotten a bit worse.
The fact is, our transmitter is a pretty old one and we’re waiting on the manufacturer to build a replacement part that will get us back to full power. We’re hoping it will arrive this week. Keep an eye on the website or the WEKU Facebook page for updates.
Governor Beshear is in Europe for an economic development trip. Beshear is scheduled to speak this week at the International CAR-Symposium in Germany. More than a thousand automobile executives gather for the yearly meeting.
This fall, the University of Pikeville is opening a new college for teachers. The Patton College of Education is named after former governor and current UPIKE chancellor, Paul Patton, who is from Appalachia.
Dean David Barnett says, upon graduation, many education students are opting to stay in the region to teach. "The desire to want to return home is already there and so we want to make sure that those people, aspiring educators, have the skills needed to meet those unique needs," said Barnett.
Due to a reduction in demand, Lexington officials are implementing a winter waste collection schedule. For six weeks, yard waste will not be picked up during regular runs. The special winter schedule begins on February 9th and runs until March 20th. Lauren Monahan is with the city's Division of Waste Management. "It's really nice because it allows us to allocate our resources to enhance the trash and recycling collection, especially as the bad winter weather is ahead of us," said Monahan.
The All 'A' Classic high school basketball tournament is in Frankfort this week. Games for both boys and girls teams run through the weekend at the downtown convention center. Tourist and Convention Commission Director Joy Jeffries says the city is expected to see almost a $1.5 million economic impact. "As the tournament progresses there's less and less games during the day, so they've got a little more time,” said Jeffries. “Or, they can take a run out and check something out. Jeffries says man of the city’s attractions are in close proximity to the convention center.
The deadline to file for statewide office has come and gone, and now the fields are set for the May primary. Centre College Political Scientist Dan Stroup says while who's running and who's not creates interest among political insiders, the same may not be said for the average voter. "You know, the primary is not until May and the election then in November and it's probably not as important on people's radar screens as the basketball season right now, for example," said Stroup.