Stu Johnson, WEKU

Reporter/Producer - Lexington

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Ag.Ky.Gov

A controversial bill affecting the operation of the state attorney general's office won approval in the Kentucky House today and is expected to get a favorable reception as it moves to a vote in the Senate.

In addition to requiring the attorney general to explain why outside counsel is needed, the bill sets a cap at $20 million dollars that an attorney can recover in any given case. 

Providence Representative Jim Gooch said that can mean more dollars for taxpayers in large civil cases, “The more you have to pay one of these attorneys, the less money you’re going to get.”


Kentucky.com

The Kentucky House overwhelmingly approved anti-gang legislation today which that  to go after gang recruiters.  The measure, backed by a 91-3 vote would make gang recruitment a felony crime.  During floor debate the cost for additional prosecution and incarceration was estimated at $38 million. 

Lexington Representative Robert Benvenuti said cost of caring for hundreds of shooting victims runs hundreds of millions of dollars.

“What kind of a price tag should we put on the young men and women who are being slaughtered in our streets,” he said.

Whitneywesterfield.com

A Kentucky Senate panel voted Thursday for a bill supporting an effort to gather statistics on how minorities are treated in schools, juvenile courts and other institutions.

 

Officer.com

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee has overwhelmingly approved legislation focused on reducing gang-related violence in the state.  

The bill makes recruitment of gang members a felony and defines a gang for criminal purposes as three or more people.  Current law sets the standard at five or more.  Louisville Assistant Police Chief Kim Kraeszig said last year 40 percent of a record number of homicides were under 26.  “Last year we had over 400 shootings.  We are losing so many lives in our community,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

 

Legislation to remove the state entirely from regulating telecommunications firms like AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell is moving to the full Kentucky Senate. 

The Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee Tuesday approved the deregulation bill.  

Kentucky.com

Legislation that would change how Kentucky’s public universities are funded is moving to the full Senate. The Appropriations and Revenue Committee easily approved a performance-based funding measure Tuesday.


Genome.gov

Kentucky’s genetic counselors could be licensed under senate legislation now before house members. 


Forestry.Ky.Gov

Kentucky lawmakers are considering ways to reduce timber thefts. 

Much of the committee testimony on the senate bill involved loggers who cross property boundaries during their harvesting. 


Filson Historical Society

Kentucky’s bourbon industry is looking for legislative approval to open the door to new in-state sale of whiskey dating back decades.  Under current law, these, often discovered, bottles of aged distilled spirits can’t be resold. 

Stu Johnson/WEKU

The Kentucky Senate voted to double the amount of campaign contributions allowed for some donors after an emotional floor debate.

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky senate voted Wednesday to make all public school campuses tobacco free 

Bill Sponsor Dr. Ralph Alvarado told senators Kentucky’s youth smoking rate is higher than the national average for adult smokers. The Winchester physician was asked about having tobacco products in a vehicle on school grounds.


Kentucky.com

The current heroin abuse problem in Kentucky is causing lawmakers on the House Education Committee to look for new ways to prevent sometimes deadly consequences of opioid use.


Ky.gov

The Kentucky General Assembly is looking at ways to improve foster care and adoption, although the real push for reforms is likely a year away.

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for change when it comes to state adoptions and foster care.  He raised the issue during his State of the Commonwealth address last week.


Stu Johnson/WEKU

Dozens of Kentucky college students rallied for nearly two hours in Frankfort Monday to show their concerns about tuition and student debt  

Student leaders and a number of state office-holders drew repeated cheers in the capitol rotunda.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We apologize for the misspelling and mispronunciation of Bruce Horseman's name. Copy below has been corrected - JH

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky Senate is expected to vote this week on legislation for a relatively new type of relationship between medical patients and physicians called Direct Primary Care.

 The concept is based on a monthly fee, much like a gym membership, to provide routine medical services. 

Currently, doctors interested in such provider-patient arrangements must go through the state department of insurance.  This bill removes that requirement. 

AddiaWuchner.com

A Kentucky House committee has advance a bill that would require college freshmen students to undergo “catchup immunizations” before they begin school.  The vaccinations would cover diseases like measles, meningitis, and whooping cough.  Bill sponsor Addia  Wuchner said a new state regulation requires this immunization in the eleventh grade, but it won’t cover all students.

Kentucky.com

 

The  Senate Education Committee Thursday unanimously approved legislation requiring all Kentucky public schools to be tobacco free . The measure calls for posting “no smoking” signs and developing local school tobacco policies.

Ky.gov

A Kentucky senate committee Thursday gave overwhelming backing to a bill addressing religious and political expression. 

governor.ky.gov

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling upon the Kentucky General Assembly to make “bold, hard, decisions” when it comes to tax reform. 

During Wednesday State of the Commonwealth speech, Bevin said tax reform and further steps to reduce the state’s $82 million pension deficit need to be done together in a special session this year.  Bevin said some 300 tax loopholes deserve attention.

 “We exempt more income in Kentucky than we take in.  That’s going to have to change, ” Bevin said.


Kentucky.com

A senate committee approved changing the peer review process in Kentucky hospitals. 

Bill sponsor Ralph Alvarado said the legislation is focused on patient safety, hospital safety, and improving the review process when there are odd medical outcomes.  The Winchester doctor said 48 other states have similar legislation.  He said anonymity is important to reduce the possibility of one doctor suing another.

Kentucky.com

 Veteran economist Chris Bollinger predicted 2.2 percent  economic growth across Kentucky in 2017

 Veteran economist Chris Bollinger predicted a 2.2. percent economic growth across Kentucky in 2017 Tuesday

Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research said much of the employment gains will be seen in health and service jobs. Bollinger said there are lots options when it comes to economic advances in the state’s rural communities. He spoke at the UK Economic Outlook Conference.


Kentucky.com

Modifications to Lexington’s curfew law got a review by members of a council committee Tuesday.

Under current law in Lexington, minors are expected to be in by 11 p.m. during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends.  The draft ordinance changes the time from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. every day.


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