Gov. Steve Beshear says he'll make a decision about Medicaid expansion in Kentucky by early next year. While many states are still deciding on the early elements of the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- Kentucky has only one decision left: whether to opt in to Medicaid expansion. Under the health care law, the federal government will pay 100 percent of costs for three years if states expand their Medicaid rolls to 138 percent of the poverty line.
In the wake of last week's shooting death of 26 people at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is joining a chorus of public officials who say a national debate on gun control and mental health is needed.
Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat representing the Third District, will serve on next year’s House Budget Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee. In a statement, Yarmuth says the committee assignments will allow him to continue working on middle class issues that reflect fairness and shared responsibility.
The school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut have rekindled the gun control debate in Washington. While many gun owners worried President Obama would push gun-control measures in his first term, the only two gun bills he signed allowed people to carry concealed weapons on federal lands and in checked bags on Amtrak trains. But now he's set up a task force on gun-violence and wants to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield says more questions must be answered before Congress does anything.
In reaction to President Obama launching a task force to address gun violence, Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth is praising the effort to tackle the issue in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. The president pledged at a press conference Wednesday that the group—led by Vice President Joe Biden—will work swiftly to present recommendations for Congress to act on. It is the most forceful push by the administration to tackle gun control, and supporters say they are eager to see specific proposals.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes wants to explore the possibility of early voting in the commonwealth. Across the country, 32 states and the District of Columbia permit a version of early voting that allows residents to cast their ballot prior to Election Day without an excuse.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss public employee pensions. The program that aired "live" on KET Monday night will be re-broadcast Tuesday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU Stations.
Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., says lawmakers need to get behind comprehensive gun control in the aftermath of a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Last Friday, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School with an assault rifle and two semi-automatic pistols, killing 20 children and six adults. The shooting has sparked a national debate about the Second Amendment, and gun control groups have been pushing for stricter laws.
Before he joins the call for legalized industrial hemp, Gov. Steve Beshear wants law enforcement officials to resolve their concerns about the issue. The issue: Some Kentucky officials believe legalized industrial hemp would be good for Kentucky's economy, but law enforcement officials are concerned that such a move would conflict with efforts to crack down on marijuana growers.
Kentucky Sixth District Congressman-elect Andy Barr announced his committee assignments Thursday. Barr will be a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, which is led by fellow Republican Spencer Baucus. The financial services panel is considered a "top-tier," committee that dealt directly with the bank bailouts and crafted the controversial Dodd-Frank Act.
Unlike the state legislature, Lexington council members are serving in relatively newly aligned districts. Redistricting at the local level was accomplished in late 2011. State lawmakers still haven’t reached an agreement. Their first attempt was ruled unconstitutional. Members of Lexington’s Council have put the process into law. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton orchestrated the move to formalize the process. “We have never had an ordinance, ever that guided our redistricting so this is like a big new first,” said Gorton.
After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session. Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.
Even with the fiscal cliff looming, newly elected central Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr opposes any tax increase. Barr was the opening speaker today in Lexington at the annual Kentucky Chamber’s Legislative Preview. The Republican believes increasing taxes on wealthier Americans will hurt the economy.
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Tea Party has been good for the Republican Party. Critics of the Tea Party blame it for costing the GOP the majority in the U.S. Senate the past four years, citing high-profile losses in Delaware, Nevada and Indiana.
Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has wrapped up its work, but Governor Steve Beshear says the biggest challenge to revising the tax code still remains. Tax reform is on the tip of the tongue every few years in Frankfort. But historically, not much has been accomplished. Beshear will get the commission's latest recommendations for tax reform this week. And it'll be up to him to convince lawmakers that the panel's work is worth turning into law.
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said he hopes a deal can be hatched to avoid the fiscal cliff, but that talks so far have not gone well. McConnell said President Barack Obama is asking for a new stimulus package -- the unlimited ability to raise the debt ceiling and more than $1 trillion in new tax revenues. And those proposals are not something Republicans want to concede, McConnell said.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss state tax reform. The program, which airs "live" on KET Monday night, is repeated each Tuesday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU Stations.
The push to legalize industrial hemp production in Kentucky will begin in the state Senate, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says. The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, which met Friday for the second time since its decade of dormancy, discussed possible legislation for the upcoming 30-day session. Finding a bill sponsor won’t be difficult, Comer told the panel. Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, was mentioned among those mentioned as a possible sponsor.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said he sees widespread support building in the General Assembly and across the state for legislation pushing industrial hemp. Comer told the Kentucky Farm Bureau that hemp represents the only potential job-creation effort under discussion in Frankfort.
The Republican state Senate has completed it's shake-up, after announcing new committee chairs today. With multiple chairmen retiring and others promoted into leadership, the caucus had many roles to fill, including that of chairmen for Education, Judiciary, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Gov. Steve Beshear is considering multiple options in the efforts to get the General Assembly to support expanded gambling legislation. A constitutional amendment failed earlier this year in the state Senate -- and a major complaint from critics was that the amendment did too much to protect thoroughbred racing tracks over other businesses. The bill banned casinos from being within 60 miles of a race track, unless the casino was at the track.
Services members would be counted differently in future U.S. Censuses under a successful amendment to a major defense bill that's to be debated in the U.S. Congress -- an amendment sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Currently, family members living on a military base are counted there as residents, but if a soldier is deployed away from the base, he is not counted as a base resident.
KET's Bill Goodman hosts Kentucky Tonight, which airs Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. on WEKU.
Credit Kentucky Educational Television
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the fiscal cliff. The program, which is "live" Monday night on Kentucky Educational TV, will be re-broadcast Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. on the WEKU Stations.
Former Kentucky Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo is considering a run for governor in 2015. Mongiardo is among several Democrats—including current Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, Attorney Jack Conway and former State Auditor Crit Luallen—who are rumored to be running in three years.
Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013 session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering. A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.
For the third straight day Republican Leader Mitch McConnell defended his parties use of the filibuster while criticizing Democrat's push for an overhaul in Senate rules. The filibuster is held by many as a Senate tradition that allows the minority party to hold up legislation, but Democrats argue that the GOP has abused the tool.
Northern Kentucky’s state legislative delegation will have two members in the leadership of the Kentucky Senate. The Kentucky Senate Republican Caucus on Tuesday elected State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, as Republican floor leader and re-elected State Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, to her position as Senate president pro tem. The current Senate floor leader, Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, will succeed David Williams as Senate president.
Two Northern Kentucky legislators hope to be part of the new leadership of the Kentucky Senate, which Republican senators will vote on Tuesday. Gov. Steve Beshear’s appointment of Senate President David Williams to a circuit judgeship has created vacancies and jostling in the Republican-controlled Senate’s leadership. But how the new leadership will affect issues, including expanded gambling which Williams opposed, remains unknown.