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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.