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.
State Sen. Julie Denton has filed two bills that would put control of implementation of the Affordable Care Act into lawmakers’ hands. Gov. Steve Beshear created a state-run health exchange through an executive order and is mulling whether to expand Medicaid. Both are parts of the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Denton says her goal is to let lawmakers have some say in either matter.
Gov. Steve Beshear is urging legislative leaders to delay General Assembly redistricting. In a letter to House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers, the governor says he’d like them to hold off redistricting in the 2013 legislative session and instead take up other important issues, such as pension and tax reforms.
Kentucky legislative leaders say solutions on how to pay for Kentucky’s underfunded pensions won’t likely be addressed in the 2013 legislative session, which began Tuesday. Both House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers say there will likely be a bill to introduce changes to the pension systems. But they also agree that such a bill is unlikely to deal how to fund the changes.
State Rep. Sannie Overly will be the first woman in history elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Overly, of Paris, on Tuesday was elected House Democratic Caucus Chair in private leadership elections today. Overly beat state Rep. Bob Damron, of Nicholasville, for the position; all other House Democratic leaders retained their posts.
FRANKFORT—As the 2013 Kentucky legislative session begins, Tea Party activists are encouraging lawmakers to abandon the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — in the state because of fiscal and health care concerns.
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division on patrol in Iraq in 2006.
Credit U.S. Army/Public Domain
Giving Kentucky service members and their spouses the ability to cast absentee ballots electronically is the priority of the Kentucky State Senate heading into the 2013 legislative session, Senate President-elect Robert Stivers said on Monday.
The majority of Kentuckians — 59 percent — support a statewide smoking ban, says a poll conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Last year, the poll said for the first time that most Kentuckians supported banning smoking in public establishments. This year, fewer than 38 percent of Kentuckians opposed such a ban. The rest had no opinion.
Kentucky legislators are still seeking a new state liquor law, a leading lawmaker says. If they don't, a bottle of bourbon may be as close as the corner gas station. Last year, a federal judge threw out Kentucky laws that don’t allow groceries and gas stations to sell wine or hard spirits, saying it was unfair. Kentucky pharmacies — which often sell grocery items — can sell the hard stuff.
The fight over the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky will continue in the new year, Tea Party activists say. When Kentucky lawmakers return to start the 2013 legislative session tomorrow (Tuesday), they will be greeted with a rally opposing the health care law.
The Speaker of the Kentucky House says it’s a no-brainer for Kentucky to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Under the health care law, states can expanded their Medicaid rolls to 138 percent of the poverty line and for three years, the federal government will pay for the expansion.
A Kentucky legislative leader says progress on reforming the state’s liquor laws is slow going. Last year, a federal judge threw out the state law that blocks grocery stores and gas stations from selling wine and spirits. That same judge later stayed his ruling to prevent a sudden surge in liquor retailers and to allow Kentucky lawmakers to re-write the regulations.
Credit Credit Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Gov. Steve Beshear will likely have to re-issue his executive order to keep the state’s health exchange running. Beshear started the exchange — part of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare — earlier this year through an executive order and state health officials have forged ahead with its creation.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is joining calls for a nation debate about gun issues in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings, and also said that violent video games are a cause of such violence. Stumbo says he’s a lifelong National Rifle Association member and an avid outdoorsman — and he has helped many NRA-friendly bills pass in Kentucky. But he’s joining other rural Democrats in their call for a discussion on gun control.
Three of the chief opponents to raising the dropout age in Kentucky will not return to Frankfort next year. That doesn't mean a dropout bill is likely to pass in the 2013 legislative session. State law allows 16-year-olds to drop out of school with parental permission. But education advocates want the law changed to eliminate all loopholes and require dropouts to be 18 or older.
The Kentucky House speaker doesn't expect the General Assembly to take drastic action in the 2013 legislative session. That doesn't mean lawmakers won't have much to discuss when they return to Frankfort on Jan. 8. Pension reform and tax reform are up for discussion.