All Politics are Local

5:45pm

Wed February 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Last-Minute Casino Gambling Amendment Introduced in the Kentucky House

Credit Creative Commons

Just as the deadline for filing new bills was to expire, a bill to amend the Kentucky constitution to allow for casino gambling was introduced Tuesday afternoon in the state House. The bill would require the Kentucky General Assembly to allow and create regulation for casino gambling at no more than seven locations. The revenue, the bill says, would be used "job creation, education, human services, health care, veterans programs, local governments, public safety, and the support of the horse industry; create the Equine Excellence fund of dedication funds from gambling."

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1:37pm

Tue February 19, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Sides with Law Enforcement Over Hemp Legalization

Credit Creative Commons

Speaking with reporters in Frankfort Tuesday, Gov. Steve Beshear said he's pushing to put the hemp legalization issue on hold until law enforcement's concerns can be addressed. According to WTVQ-TV, Beshear has concerns similar to those of Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, who's said the state should listen to the concerns of police officers since hemp leaves look like marijuana leaves.

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1:30pm

Tue February 19, 2013
All Politics are Local

McConnell Ad Mocks Democratic Candidate Search

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Credit WFPL File Photo

In the first ad of the 2014 Kentucky Senate race, Republican Mitch McConnell pokes fun at Democrats for being unable to find an opponent for the general election. The online spot utilizes clips of President Obama, and shows him looking at a number of rumored challengers including actress Ashley Judd, former U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

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12:54pm

Tue February 19, 2013
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Beshear Says Casino Gambling Bill is Dead for 2013

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear says he's a fan of Instant Racing for Kentucky's horse racing tracks—but he's not sure if legalizing the gambling format would be used to fund the state's struggling pension system. Meanwhile, Beshear said casino gambling is not happening this year.

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12:33pm

Mon February 18, 2013
All Politics are Local

Democrats Divided On Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Parallel to the divide between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the Tea Party, Kentucky Democrats are vocally split over actress Ashley Judd running the GOP leader. Democratic officials, lawmakers and operatives have voiced opposition to Judd, suggesting the Hollywood star is too liberal and would hurt down-ticket candidates. Judd has been described as a "catastrophe" for not only state House candidates but gubernatorial ones in 2015.

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12:31pm

Mon February 18, 2013
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Kentucky House Moves Forward With Redistricting

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Kentucky House leaders are moving ahead with addressing redistricting this session—despite hesitation from the Senate and pleas from the governor. The regional caucuses are still working on their areas when it comes to redistricting, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said.

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12:29pm

Mon February 18, 2013
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Senate Considering Changes to Special Taxing District Reform Bill

Robert Stivers
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A bill aimed at reforming the way special districts are treated in Kentucky is likely to undergo some changes in hands of the state Senate. House Bill 1 is a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, based off recommendations Edelen made during his investigation of special taxing districts across Kentucky.

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2:11pm

Sun February 17, 2013
All Politics are Local

Hemp Advocates Say State Could Benefit From Different Markets

Hemp doubters, including prominent Kentucky politicians and law enforcement, scoff at the idea that the market for the crop could mean much to Kentucky farmers. But they have not been answering the phones at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, where Commissioner James Comer gets two or three calls a week. "Industry leaders in automotive manufacturing, cosmetics, energy, processing and certified seed are all interested in Kentucky-grown industrial hemp," Comer told the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing Feb. 11.

12:13pm

Fri February 15, 2013
All Politics are Local

House Leaders Consider Instant Racing Legalization to Help Pay for Pensions

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Kentucky House leaders are considering legalizing Instant Racing across Kentucky to help plug the funding gap in the state's pensions. Instant Racing is a slots-like game currently played at two Kentucky tracks, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs. The legality of the game is also currently being litigated at the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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12:04pm

Fri February 15, 2013
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Bill Deregulating Land-Line Phone Service Clears the Senate

State Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville. Photo provided by Legislative Research Commission.

A controversial telephone-deregulation bill that opponents say could leave people in rural areas without land-line service cleared the state Senate Thursday on a 24-13 vote. The measure now goes to the House, where two key lawmakers have said the bill is problematic because of its potential impact on rural areas. But the bill's sponsor said those areas will be protected.

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11:35am

Fri February 15, 2013
All Politics are Local

University Bonding Projects Bill Steps Away from Becoming Law

Credit J. Glover/Creative Commons

A bill authorizing more than $360 million in bonds for university projects is just steps away from becoming a reality. House Bill 7 allows six of the state's eight public universities to use bonds and other means to fund projects like building renovations, construction and renovations to Commonwealth Stadium.  And it passed the Senate budget committee unanimously Thursday.

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3:28pm

Thu February 14, 2013
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Kentucky Senate Passes Hemp Bill

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

The state Senate has passed a bill aimed at creating a hemp industry in Kentucky, though the bill's future appears to lack the support of key government leaders. The Senate's 31-6 approval of a bill establishing oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally comes with the release of a poll stating that most Kentuckians believe legalized hemp would create jobs.

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2:05pm

Thu February 14, 2013
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House Panel Approves Coal County Scholarship Bill

FRANKFORT—A bill approved Thursday by the House Education Committee would create a scholarship and grant program to help college juniors and seniors from Kentucky’s coal counties attain four-year college degrees. House Bill 210, introduced and sponsored by Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville, would offer scholarships to students from the state’s 34 coal-producing counties in eastern and western Kentucky who attend school in those counties through the “Kentucky Coal County College Completion Program” to be established by the bill.

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2:02pm

Thu February 14, 2013
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Former Wildcat Derek Anderson Joins Rally for Statewide Smoking Ban

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Supporters of a statewide smoking ban brought high-profile help from the world of sports while rallying Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda  for their cause. Urging Kentucky lawmakers to pass a statewide smoking ban, Gov. Steve Beshear and former University of Kentucky basketball player Derek Anderson spoke in favor of House Bill 190 at the rally. Currently more than 20 Kentucky communities have smoke-free laws, spanning across the state. And recent polls said that most Kentuckians support a ban.

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12:41pm

Thu February 14, 2013
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Debt Ceiling Bill Clears State Senate Panel

Legislation that would cap the state's debt supported by General Fund appropriations was approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday. Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Committee Chair Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, would prohibit the legislature from appropriating more than 6 percent of General Fund revenues to bonded indebtedness.

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12:31pm

Thu February 14, 2013
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Senate Passes Bill Allowing Panel Reviews in Nursing Home Abuses Cases

Julie Denton
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

The state Senate on Wednesday approved that sets up a panel to review abuse cases from nursing homes. Three doctors would be put on the panel to review abuse cases; the bill would not prevent patients from filing lawsuits, but the findings from the panel could be admissible in court. The Senate approved Senate Bill 9 on a party-line vote—Republican for, Democrats against.

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5:41pm

Wed February 13, 2013
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Committee Passes Dropout Age Bill

FRANKFORT—A bill that would raise the school dropout age in Kentucky from 16 to 18 passed the House Education Committee Tuesday. House Bill 224, sponsored by House Banking and Insurance Chair Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, and Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, would raise the dropout age gradually by increasing the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17 on July 1, 2017 and from age 17 to 18 on July 1, 2018. Similar legislation has been filed in the Kentucky General Assembly for over a decade but has never become law.

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5:39pm

Wed February 13, 2013
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Senate Committee Backs Bill Requiring Medicaid Providers to Publish Prescription Prices

Credit Melanie Tata/Creative Commons

A bill requiring Kentucky Medicaid managed care operators publish a list of prescriptions and reimbursement prices on Wednesday passed a state Senate committee, following prodding from  independent pharmacists asking for access to pricing standards before they fill prescriptions.

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5:39pm

Wed February 13, 2013
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Senate Committee Backs Bill Requiring Medicaid Providers to Publish Prescription Prices

Credit Melanie Tata/Creative Commons

A bill requiring Kentucky Medicaid managed care operators publish a list of prescriptions and reimbursement prices on Wednesday passed a state Senate committee, following prodding from  independent pharmacists asking for access to pricing standards before they fill prescriptions.

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3:20pm

Tue February 12, 2013
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Bill Increasing Booster Seat Height Passes House Committee

Credit Creative Commons

Seeking to curb child fatalities on Kentucky roads, a state House committee approved a bill  increasing children's height requirement for booster seats. House Bill 282 would require children to use a booster seat while riding in a motor vehicle until they reach 57 inches or the age 9. Currently, children must use booster seats until they reach 53 inches or age 7.

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1:50pm

Tue February 12, 2013
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Health Sharing Bill Moves to Full State Senate

Credit WFPL File Photo

A bill that would allow exemptions for Christian health sharing organizations to operate in Kentucky sailed over it first hurdle in a Senate committee. Senate Bill 3 is known as the Medishare bill, named for the health sharing organization Christian Care Medishare, which was recently kicked out of Kentucky by the Department of Insurance. Medishare operates by pooling money to help pay for members medical bills.

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12:23pm

Tue February 12, 2013
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Kentucky Metro Leaders to Draft Legislation for Local Option Sales Tax

Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

FRANKFORT — Though the effort for a local option sales tax lacks support from principals in the General Assembly, Mayor Greg Fischer and other leaders from Kentucky's largest communities still went to Frankfort on Tuesday to push for a constitutional amendment. Calling themselves the Metropolitan Alliance for Growth, the group is creating its own draft of legislation for a local option sales tax—but they call it LIFT, for Local Investments for Transformation.

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5:52pm

Mon February 11, 2013
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Rand Paul Says Court Oversight in Drone Attacks Needed

Credit Public Domain

Courts should decide whether the U.S. should use drone attacks on American citizens who are abroad and accused of committing crimes against the nation, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said. Paul told Kentucky Public Radio on Monday that he would prefer a judge or jury make those decisions, as they do with crimes committed inside the U.S.

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5:48pm

Mon February 11, 2013
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Hemp Bill Sails Through Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee

James Comer
Credit WFPL File Photo

FRANKFORT — After testimony from a bevy of high-level supporters, the state Senate agriculture committee unanimously approved Monday a bill that would establish oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally. Agriculture Commission James Comer—the leading proponent of industrial hemp in Kentucky—recruited U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie and John Yarmuth to speak in favor of the bill at the committee, as well as U.S. Sen.  Rand Paul. But the bill has opposition from many law enforcement agencies, including the Kentucky State Police and Operation UNITE, a federally-funded program.

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5:43pm

Mon February 11, 2013
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Paul's Tea Party State of the Union Rebuttal Will Focus on Federal Debt

Rand Paul
Credit Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen.Rand Paul will be one of two GOP senators providing a rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday. Paul is providing the tea party response to the annual address, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will provide the Republican Party's official response.

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5:45pm

Sun February 10, 2013
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Karl Rove Promises More Ashley Judd Attack Ads

Republican strategist Karl Rove is promising more attack ads targeting actress Ashley Judd. Judd is flirting with a bid against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is up for re-election in 2014. In a brutal online ad, American Crossroad tagged the actress-activist as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal, and criticized her for living in Tennessee. Rove is the super PAC's founder, and he says there's plenty more to come.

5:43pm

Sun February 10, 2013
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Legalizing Hemp Poses Complex Issues

As Kentucky lawmakers consider whether to legalize the growing of hemp, they're hearing arguments from both sides of the issue. The nightmare hemp scenario for Kentucky State Police apparently is a field legally licensed to grow hemp for grain with illegally planted marijuana mingled in. Unlike hemp grown for fiber (when the plants are inches apart to promote tall stalk growth), the hemp grown for grain and marijuana plants would look substantially the same, said Jeremy Triplett, supervisor of the state police forensic lab.

1:52pm

Fri February 8, 2013
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State Lawmakers Take Up Gun Debate

Credit Creative Commons

In the wake of the fatal school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and possible federal firearm regulations, the debate on gun rights is taking shape in the 2013 legislative session. Democratic lawmakers Thursday introduced House Bill 265, which would require background checks for private firearm sales, ban firearms on college and university campuses, require the use of safety measures like gun safes and locks, and allow local governments to set gun regulations. HB 265 would not ban assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines, said Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, the bill’s primary sponsor.

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11:28am

Fri February 8, 2013
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Special Taxing Districts Reform Sails Through Kentucky State House

Credit WFPL File Photo

A bill reforming how the state's special districts are categorized and making them more transparent easily passed the state House this morning, 96-1. State Rep. Lynn Belcher, a Republican from Crittenden County, was the lone "no" vote.  Many local library boards, sewer districts and fire districts are considered special taxing districts separate from other types of government.

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4:26pm

Thu February 7, 2013
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Greg Stumbo Files Bill Aimed at Speeding Up Medicaid's Late Payment Process

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a bill to move complaints about late payments in Kentucky's Medicaid system from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Department of Insurance. Health care providers—such as hospitals and doctor's offices— have complained about severely late payments since the managed care system started. Currently, the cabinet deals those issues that arise when one of the state's Medicaid operating companies delays payment to a health provider.

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