Kenny Colston, KPR-Frankfort

KPR Statehouse Bureau Chief

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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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6:58am

Thu January 10, 2013
State Capitol

Bills Filed to Control Federal Health Care

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.

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4:43pm

Wed January 9, 2013
All Politics are Local

Governor Beshear Urges Legislative Leaders to Delay Redistricting

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

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.

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6:03pm

Tue January 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Leaders Say Pension Funding Solution Unlikely in 2013

Credit Rae Hodge, Kentucky Public Radio

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.

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5:54pm

Tue January 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Sannie Overly First Woman Elected to Kentucky House Leadership

Sannie Overly
Credit Overly Campaign

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.

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3:26pm

Tue January 8, 2013
All Politics are Local

Tea Party Activists Tell Kentucky Lawmakers to Reject Obamacare

Credit Wikipedia Commons

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.

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5:25pm

Mon January 7, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Senate Designates Electronic Military Voting as Chief Priority

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.

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10:59am

Mon January 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Shows Increased Support for Statewide Smoking Ban

Credit creative commons

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.

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12:51pm

Sun January 6, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Lawmakers Still Working on New Liquor Law

Credit Gabe Bullard, WFPL

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.

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1:00pm

Fri January 4, 2013
All Politics are Local

2013 Session will Open with Tea Party Rally

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.

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5:37pm

Thu January 3, 2013
All Politics are Local

Speaker Stumbo Favors Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

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.

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9:37am

Mon December 31, 2012
All Politics are Local

Liquor Law Reform Makes Little Progress

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.

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1:50pm

Sun December 30, 2012
All Politics are Local

Legislators Unlikely to Put State Health Exchange into Law

Audrey Haynes
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.

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5:58pm

Fri December 28, 2012
All Politics are Local

Speaker Greg Stumbo Joins Calls for National Debate on Gun Issues

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

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.

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11:13am

Wed December 26, 2012
All Politics are Local

Dropout Bill Still Faces Challenges

Damon Thayer
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

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.

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11:01am

Mon December 24, 2012
All Politics are Local

Stumbo Says Short Legislative Session will Limit Activity

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.

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