The special election for the 56th House District—covering Woodford County and portions of Fayette and Franklin county—will likely be the only election this year. This puts added pressure on both parties to come through with a victory, as Democrats try to maintain their majority and Republicans attempt to make in-roads in taking the House. Republican nominee Lyen Crews faces defeat Democrat James Kay on June 25
By Elizabeth Thompson and Appalachian News-Express
Credit Creative Commons
While U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell believes the new Coal Jobs Protection Act will expedite the EPA’s permitting process, he acknowledges that the bill maybe difficult to get passed during the next U.S. Senate session which begins next week. McConnell announced the new measure during a press conference at Whayne Supply in Pikeville on Monday.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is encouraging Gov. Steve Beshear to soon call a General Assembly special session so that lawmakers can pass new state legislative redistricting maps and end a federal lawsuit. Last week, several county clerks in Northern Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit claiming the state's inability to finish redistricting violated federal law. In response, Stumbo sent a letter to the governor encouraging him to call a special session.
The Democratic candidate is in place for a key special election in Central Kentucky. Attorney James Kay of Versailles will run for the Kentucky state House seat being left vacant by Carl Rollins. Rollins is leaving office to work with two state education groups.
U.S. Minority Leader Mitch McConnellplans to announce a bill to put limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of coal mining. McConnell’s bill—which he’s calling “The Coal Jobs Protection Act”—would set deadlines for the EPA to approve or veto coal mining permits. If McConnell’s bill becomes law, the agency would have 270 days to act on some permits for water pollution. For valley fill permits, the bill gives the EPA a year to conduct an environmental assessment. This is a time-intensive process that the EPA estimates takes an average of three years.
A leading health organization in Kentucky is putting the pressure on Gov. Steve Beshear to expand Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act. Kentucky Voices for Health Executive Director Regan Hunt says her group is launching a two-week radio ad campaign pressure Beshear to expand Medicaid. The radio ad campaign will be partnered with a month long online ad campaign.
An evacuation occurred at the temporary Franklin County courthouse Monday morning after the words “bomb in build” were found spray-painted on the building. The black spray-painting was on the left side of the building, near the door where judges enter. An employee first noticed the spray-painting about 8 a.m., when the courthouse opened. The employee notified the Franklin County Sheriff’s office, which is housed in the opposite end of the building. A search of the building turned up nothing.
Journalists meet former Agriculture Commissioner, Ex-WildCat Richie Farmer on way into federal court Thursday for hearing on charges.
Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges that he misused more than $450,000 of state money and property during his eight years as Kentucky's top agriculture official. Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball player whose retired jersey hangs in Rupp Arena, appeared Thursday afternoon with his attorney, J. Guthrie True, at the federal courthouse in Lexington. A grand jury has charged Farmer, 43, with four counts of misappropriating property and money, and one count of soliciting property to influence agriculture department business.
Credit Legislative Research Commission Carl Rollins
Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle. Rollins is resigning to become the executive director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.