Kenny Colston, KPR-Frankfort

KPR Statehouse Bureau Chief

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1:43pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Education

Report Says Higher Education Still Worthwhile Despite Rising Tuition

Credit WFPL File Photo

Despite rising tuition costs, higher education is still worthwhile because college-degree holders have higher incomes and better opportunities for employment, according to a report released Friday by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Employers are increasingly requiring bachelor’s degrees as part of their hiring processes, the report said. In the next eight years, the report says, more than half of Kentucky jobs will require some sort of higher education.

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12:52pm

Thu January 24, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Unsure if Expanded Gambling Bill Will be Filed

Credit Creative Commons

The clock is ticking on the current legislative session, but efforts to push expanded gambling in the 2013  are still on-going, Gov. Steve Beshear said. “I think it’s too early to reach a conclusion yet on whether we will have a bill on expanded gaming, you know we’ve got some issues to be resolved," he said.

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5:38pm

Wed January 23, 2013
The Commonwealth

Beshear Endorses Plan to Reopen Kentucky Kingdom

The now-shuttered Kentucky Kingdom.
Credit WFPL File Photo

Gov. Steve Beshear says he approves of a plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom theme park. The final details of a plan may change depending on negotiations between state officials and the lone group — led by businessman Ed Hart — to respond to the state's request for proposals. Beshear says he's behind the deal and he expects the fair board to approve. “Assuming that the group can get their private financing, the state's ready to go and I think the fair board's ready to go," Beshear told WFPL on Wednesday. "When that lease is approved, we're ready and waiting.”

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5:25pm

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Supports Local Option Sales Tax

Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Proponents of a local option sales tax have gained big ally in their legislative fight: Gov. Steve Beshear.  The local option sales tax would allow cities to levy an additional tax on top of the state’s current six percent sales tax for specific projects, if local voters approved the new tax. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray are the chief advocates pushing the idea, arguing their cities would use the extra revenue for infrastructure projects.

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5:24pm

Wed January 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

Conway Alleges Mortgage Swapping Company Violated State Law

Jack Conway
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

Claiming they committed fraud, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has filed a suit against a mortgage company. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, provides a marketplace for banks to trade mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Conway says it was set up by banks to avoid the fees that must be paid when mortgages are sold and to hide the true owners of those mortgages.

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5:57pm

Mon January 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Paul to Introduce Bill Directing Priorities if Debt Ceiling Not Raised

Senator Rand Paul plans to introduce legislation that would prevent the federal  government from defaulting if it fails to raise the debt ceiling. Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston reports.

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2:13pm

Sun January 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul to Oppose Second Sandy Relief Bill Due to Extra Spending

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Sen. Rand Paul said he will oppose a measure the U.S. Senate will take up this week for payments to areas of the Northeast affected by Superstorm Sandy. The Northeast does need help after the storm, but he would like to offset the costs with spending cuts elsewhere in the federal government, he said.

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12:33pm

Thu January 17, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul Discusses Recent Trip to Israel

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Fresh off a trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says his mission was to prove he is an ally of the Middle Eastern nation. Many pro-Israel groups have been wary of the senator, because of his calls to reduce foreign aid. Paul’s father, Ron Paul, the former U.S. representative and Republican presidential candidate, also had a frosty relationship with pro-Israel groups.

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5:39pm

Wed January 16, 2013
All Politics are Local

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Vows to Scrutinize President's Executive Actions on Guns

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he'll examine President Obama's just-announced executive orders to see if the president has overstepped his authority — and, if he believes so, will introduce legislation to overturn the orders.  “Executive orders can be overturned and cannot run afoul of legislation that is the current law, if he tries to create legislation, I will oppose him,” Paul said on Wednesday.

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3:17pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Health Co-Op Not in Danger After Fiscal Cliff Cuts

One lesser-known aspect of the Affordable Care Act is it’s reliance on state health cooperatives —  which work separate of the state- or federally run health exchange, but are free to offer their own brand of insurance on the exchange. But recent Congressional deal-making is putting those co-ops in danger.

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5:40pm

Mon January 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Groups Work to Find Solutions for Liquor Law Reform

Credit Credit Creative Commons

If a federal judge's ruling goes into effect, businesses that sell liquor in Kentucky may see increased competition — and those businesses are encouraging legislators to act before an appeals  decision comes down. Judge John Heyburn tossed the laws last year, saying it was unconstitutional to allow places like drug stores to sell some wine and liquor, but not groceries.

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4:58pm

Sun January 13, 2013
All Politics are Local

Liquor Law Reform May be Delayed

Work on reforming some of Kentucky’s liquor laws may wait until a federal appeals court rules on a current challenge. A federal circuit judge threw out state laws dealing with where wine and distilled spirits can be sold, calling them unfair. Currently only select stores — such as liquor stores and pharmacies — can sell those beverages, while others — such as groceries — can only sell beer.

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3:55pm

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Chamber Joins Hemp Supporters

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has landed a high-profile supporter for his efforts to legalize hemp in Kentucky. The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, has come out in support of industrial hemp for oil and fiber, provided there is a sound regulatory process.

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11:34am

Fri January 11, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Undecided on Whether to Delay Redistricting

Kentucky legislative districts approved in 2002.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session. Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.

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4:54pm

Thu January 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Coalition Rallies Against Big Changes to Kentucky Public Pensions

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Current Kentucky state employees and retirees packed the Capitol Rotunda to encourage lawmakers to rethink some proposals made by a task force on public pensions last year. Calling themselves the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, the group of more than a dozen interested organizations encouraged their members to tell lawmakers not to switch to a hybrid pension plan for new hires and to reinstate cost of living adjustments every year.

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2:49pm

Thu January 10, 2013
Business and the Economy

Borrowing for Campus Projects

Renovations to the University of Kentucky's football stadium and the University of Louisville are among the projects that will benefit from a bipartisan General Assembly agreement is allowing state universities to use their own ability to issue bonds for capital projects.  The soon-to-be approved projects were rejected during 2012 budget negotiations, but will be revived once lawmakers pass an authorization bill, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says.

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11:16am

Thu January 10, 2013
All Politics are Local

Smoking Ban Advocates Once Again Face Senate Roadblock

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in public places are set to try their luck in passing such a law for the third legislative session. Smoke Free Kentucky has started an advertising campaign to raise support for the smoking ban and a recent poll showed a majority of Kentucky support such a ban.

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