Amnesty could again be granted to Kentucky’s delinquent taxpayers. State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says it’s been ten years since Kentucky last offered such a reprieve. Once the amnesty period expires, Lassiter says delinquent taxpayers will feel the full force of the law.
Country star Tom T. Hall got in a little light ribbing of Gov. Steve Beshear and other officials at the Tuesday morning press conference announcing the Road to Fame competition.
Credit Rich Copley/Lexington Herald-Leader
Gov. Steve Beshear and country music star Tom T. Hall announced a new initiative Tuesday to promote U.S. 23 as the Country Music Highway that will include an American Idol-style competition and an education fund. Hall, an Olive Hill native, is one of numerous Kentucky musicians from the area surrounding the 144-mile north-south highway who have gone on to country music fame including sisters Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle, the mother-daughter duo of Naomi and Wynonna Judd, Keith Whitley, Billy Ray Cyrus, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam and a number of other chart toppers. In 1994, the Kentucky State Legislature designated U.S. 23 as the Country Music Highway.
The federal government today announced the third phase of a program designed to reduce the number of fatalities in the nation’s mines. The first two phases of MSHA’s “Rules to Live By” focused on the most frequently cited violations that contributed to both individual deaths and major mining accidents. In this third phase, the agency is pinpointing the most common accidents that caused mine fatalities over the last decade. Miners will receive extra training in those areas, and inspectors will be taught to better recognize those hazards.
The state's prosecutors warned lawmakers Tuesday that they will have to lay off or furlough workers under Gov. Steve Beshear's proposed two-year state budget. "We've got two options — layoffs or furloughs," said Chris Cohron, the commonwealth's attorney for Warren County and legislative chair for the state's commonwealth's attorney association.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear accused Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, on Tuesday of trying to intimidate Republican senators who support Beshear's casino gambling proposal. "He is using intimidations and threats against fellow senators, including some in his own party," Beshear said. Williams denied Beshear's claim. He told reporters that he opposes the expansion of gambling in Kentucky, but that he is not punishing senators who support it. No one is losing their committee chairmanships or other choice assignments because they disagree with him, Williams said.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway would like see lawmakers increase funding for his agency by about four million dollars more than what’s recommended by the governor. The A-G appeared before the House Budget Subcommittee Tuesday. Conway asked members of the legislative panel to consider restoring funding to the 14 million dollars allocated in 2008. If the governor’s plan is passed, Conway says layoffs are possible.
Kentucky Senator Kathy Stein is celebrating a judge's decision to delay the filing deadline for candidates for the General Assembly. Stein was drawn out of her Lexington district when the Senate drafted new maps to reflect changes in population. She filed suit, arguing the new maps are unconstitutional. Today , a judge delayed the deadline for candidates to file so he can further review the case. Stein agrees the issue deserves more study.
A Franklin Circuit Court judge has pushed back the filling deadline for state legislative candidates. In response to a lawsuit claiming the new redistricting maps are unconstitutional, Judge Phillip Shepherd issued a restraining order moving the deadline back one week. Shepherd also set a hearing on the constitutionality argument for Monday morning.
A Lexington task force delivered its final recommendations today for a redesigned Rupp Arena and a new downtown convention center. Much of the design proposal for the Rupp Arena, Arts and Entertainment District has already been unveiled to the public in recent weeks. It features the same footprint to house University of Kentucky basketball games, but with a sleeker exterior and better fan experience. Luther Deaton, head of Central Bank, chaired the task force’s finance committee. He says there now needs to be a closer examination of funding options.
Kentucky needs money to fix its broken bridges but the federal fund that pays for such repairs is running a deficit. That’s why Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield wants the federal government to borrow billions of dollars so states like Kentucky can fund the work.