All Politics are Local

1:00pm

Thu April 4, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beau Biden to Speak at Kentucky Democrat's Annual Dinner

Beau Biden
Credit Beau Biden campaign

Kentucky Democrats are bringing in a well-connected out-of-state politician  to headline their annual state dinner.  State Democrats aim for high-profile names to headline their annual Wendell Ford Dinner—this year they've booked Beau Biden, the Delaware Attorney General and the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

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1:54pm

Wed April 3, 2013
All Politics are Local

After Filibuster, Paul Gains Strength in Polls

Credit Photo by Joe Imel / Daily News, Bowling Green

Two national polls released this week show Kentucky Senator Rand Paul neck and neck with many other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates. Both Quinnipiac and Public Policy Polling released surveys Wednesday showing Paul in second or third place in the early GOP primary field. Paul clocks in at 15 percent in the Quinnipiac poll, behind former vice presidential nominee and Congressman Paul Ryan at 17 percent, and fellow Republican Senator Marco Rubio at 19 percent. 

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11:58am

Tue April 2, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear May Veto Medicaid Prompt Payment Bill

Credit Creative Commons

A bill designed to help doctors, hospitals and other medical providers receive prompt payments from the state's Medicaid managed care companies awaits Gov. Steve Beshear's signature or veto. Despite passing both the state House and Senate unanimously and having the support of the medical community, Beshear has left open the possibility he may veto House Bill 5 because of concerns that it could cost too much to implement.

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4:07pm

Mon April 1, 2013
All Politics are Local

Ashley Judd Adviser Says Kentucky Democrats Helped Push Her Out

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Former Kentucky treasurer Jonathan Miller is blaming fellow state Democrats for helping push actress Ashley Judd out of the upcoming U.S. Senate race. Judd announced last week she is declining to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2014, citing a need to focus on family. The speculation on other reasons why Judd isn't making a bid are plentiful, but supporters are speaking up.

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12:00am

Mon April 1, 2013
All Politics are Local

Major Bills Still Await Governor's Signature

Many of the bills Kentucky lawmakers passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session are still awaiting action by Governor Steve Beshear. Beshear has not yet signed or vetoed high-profile bills that would prepare Kentucky to grow industrial hemp, allow alcohol sales on election day and simplify voting for military service members stationed overseas.

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10:39am

Fri March 29, 2013
All Politics are Local

Political Action Committee's Aim is for Republicans to Take State House

Credit File photo

With more than a year before the next elections, new political action committee has formed to help Republicans gain control of the Kentucky state House. The PAC—Pro-Jobs, Pro-Kentucky—was formed earlier this month by Scott Jennings, a longtime Kentucky  GOP political operative and Mike Adams, a former political director for the Republican Governor's Association.

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4:18pm

Thu March 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Louisville Tea Party Develops Education Initiatives

Credit WFPL File Photo

The Louisville Tea Party has developed new education initiatives the group plans to support through fund raising. There are four initiatives on the Louisville Tea Party’s website. They include supporting school choice and charter schools.  The party says students should not spend more than 30 minutes on a bus unless parents sign a waiver allowing them to spend extra time being transported.

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3:51pm

Thu March 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Lobbyists Spend $4.2 Million in First Months of Session

Credit Creative Commons

With the Kentucky General Assembly adjourned for the year, a look into lobbying spending during the session shows major dollars are still used to influence issues.  During the first two months of the this year's session, a total of $4.2 million was spent lobbying.  That's a 10 percent increase over the last 30-day session in 2011, according to Legislative Ethics Commission.

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2:15pm

Thu March 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

PAC Forms With Goal to Eliminate Reproductive Rights as Campaign Issue

Credit Creative Commons

The key issue for a new Louisville-based political action committee is candidates' use of reproductive rights as a campaign issue. Reproductive Rights for Kentucky PAC was born from the recent controversy when University of Louisville Hospital attempted to merge with Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. Critics of the merger raised concerns about CHI's adherence to Catholic religious directives—that certain reproductive health practices, such as tubal litigations, wouldn't be permitted at University Hospital.

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12:58pm

Thu March 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Hemp Lobby Waiting on Beshear to Sign Bill

Supporters of growing hemp on Wednesday cheered the General Assembly's last-hour passage of a bill to license Kentucky farmers. And they made plans to take to Washington their case that industrial hemp should be legal. After a speech in Lexington, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, said he's "very excited" about the hemp bill and Kentucky's chances for a waiver to grow it.

12:51pm

Thu March 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul Delivers Speech at UK

Credit Creative Commons

On March 6, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul went to work without any particular plans, certainly none that included making a speech for 13 hours straight. "I didn't call my wife; I didn't have my best shoes on," he said during a speech Wednesday afternoon at the University of Kentucky. "It was pretty much just spontaneous, and I think that's why people became interested in it."

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12:44pm

Thu March 28, 2013
All Politics are Local

Mitch McConnell Campaign Radio Ad Features 'Fiery' CPAC Speech

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a new statewide radio ad this week featuring the GOP leader's fiery remarks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference. During the speech, McConnell pledge to conservative activists the fight against the Affordable Care Act will will continue despite the Supreme Court upholding the legislation and President Obama's re-election last fall.

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5:50pm

Wed March 27, 2013
All Politics are Local

TV Station Reports Ashley Judd Won't Run for Senate

Credit Creative Commons

A Louisville TV station is reporting that it appears that actress Ashley Judd will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate. WHAS-TV reported on its 5 p.m. newscast and on its website that Judd tweeted Wednesday afternoon that after serious consideration she has decided her time should to be devoted to her family.

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5:37pm

Wed March 27, 2013
All Politics are Local

McConnell and Paul Praise General Assembly for Approving Hemp Legislation

Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are lauding the Kentucky General Assembly for passing legislation to allow a regulatory framework for industrial hemp. The so-called hemp bill was approved by state lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session, and allows licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission should the federal government legalize the crop.

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5:34pm

Wed March 27, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Call 2013 Session a Success

Robert Stivers and Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they're proud of the 2013, with legislators having accomplished pension reforms, cleaned up other bills and passed others dealing with hemp, special taxing district and military voting. Many of the legislature's top priorities were passed in the 30-day session, although most of them were hatched as last minutes deals in the waning days of the session.

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3:14pm

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Signs Human Trafficking Bill

Gov. Steve Beshear, joined by legislators and child protection advocates, today signed House Bill 3, which is designed to increase protections for victims of human trafficking. The “Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act” is primarily designed to target individuals who exploit children for sexual purposes by increasing penalties and prison sentences. The legislation would also provide training so that victims, advocates and law enforcement officers may better recognize signs of human and child trafficking, allowing them to take action more quickly.

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1:01pm

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

House Passes Christian Health-Sharing Bill

Credit File photo

A bill that would allow a Christian health sharing organization to again operate in Kentucky is steps away from becoming law, if it's not vetoed. Senate Bill 3, called the Medi-share bill after Christian Care Medi-Share, on Tuesday passed the House 88-8 after amendments that require Christian Care Medi-Share to give more warnings to customers  that health sharing is not insurance.

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12:59pm

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Medicaid Prompt Pay Bill Approved in General Assembly

Credit Creative Commons

A bill requiring prompt pay for health care providers participating in Kentucky's Medicaid managed-care system is heading to the governor's desk—but it isn't veto-proof. The bill,  sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo and would move disputes between providers and managed care organizations to the Department of Insurance to be settled.

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12:23pm

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Pension Proposal Rejected, Deadline Looms

Credit Creative Commons

House and Senate leaders will attempt a last-minute compromise to reform Kentucky’s beleaguered public pension system during the session’s final day Tuesday. Negotiations on the pension issue, arguably the largest unresolved item on the General Assembly’s agenda, lasted throughout the day Monday. Gov. Steve Beshear met with House and Senate leadership, and House Democrats discussed proposals for several hours.

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11:16am

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Senator Marco Rubio Outlines Vision of 'Limitless' America in UofL Address

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fl.,
Credit Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida delivered a speech at the University of Louisville outlining his domestic and foreign policy views, saying America is still a country without limits. The speech delivered Monday was part of the McConnell Center’s lecture series, which has featured several high-profiled leaders including House Speaker John Boehner.

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11:13am

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Lawmakers Likely to Override Religious Freedom Bill Veto

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

The Kentucky House will vote Tuesday whether to override Gov. Steve Beshear's veto of the "religious freedom" bill. Many House Democrats supported the bill when it first came up for a vote, though the decision to consider the veto was more contentious when taken up in a Democratic caucus meeting Monday. Speaker Greg Stumbo expects the override to go through, but he's not sure how strong the support will be.

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11:11am

Tue March 26, 2013
All Politics are Local

Kentucky Lawmakers Consider Plan for Pension Reform

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

With only one day left in this year's legislative session, Kentucky House leaders are hopeful they have a deal to up shore up the state's underfunded pension system. But there may not be time to get it through the legislature.  House Democrats' are building support for a proposal that uses technical wrangling of revenue sources to cut some taxes while raising other funds to pay for pension reform. The current proposal would cut the gasoline tax by one cent, resulting in a loss of funds for the state road fund.

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5:32pm

Mon March 25, 2013
All Politics are Local

Lawmakers Reconvene for Final Two Days of Session

Kentucky lawmakers reconvene at noon Monday to finish out the last two days of this year’s legislative session. They face a stack of unfinished bills. Proposals include a measure to reform the state’s underfunded pension system and legislation to regulate hemp farming. Pension reform remains a top priority for legislators.

5:27pm

Mon March 25, 2013
All Politics are Local

State Lottery Approves Online Sales

The Kentucky Lottery Corporation is moving ahead with a new Keno game and online lottery sales after unanimously approval from its board.  The board approved the new games with the hopes they would generate $85 million a year by 2023. State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach spearheaded the effort to expand to Keno and online as a way to help generate more revenue for the state.

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5:23pm

Fri March 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Massie Advises Tea Party Critics to Lay Off Senator Mitch McConnell

Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is advising Tea Party activists to think twice before waging a primary challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell next year. The freshman lawmaker was heavily backed by the Tea Party in his race for the Fourth Congressional District seat last year.

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4:34pm

Fri March 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

'Religious Freedom' Bill Sponsor Urges House Leaders to Override Gubernatorial Veto

State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville

Kentucky Representative Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, is urging fellow Democrats in the state House to override Governor Steve Beshear's veto of the so-called 'religious freedom' bill. The governor blocked the legislation Friday after tremendous pressure to reject the measure, which would allow residents to ignore any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith.

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2:37pm

Fri March 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Beshear Vetoes Controversial 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday vetoed the controversial "religious freedom" bill recently approved by the Kentucky General Assembly. Here's his statement:

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1:02pm

Fri March 22, 2013
All Politics are Local

Three Nominated to Fill Vacant Kentucky Supreme Court Seat

A bipartisan nominating commission has recommended that Gov. Steve Beshear consider a state appeals court judge and two other lawyers for an open state Supreme Court seat in Northern Kentucky. The vacancy was created when Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Wil Schroder retired on Jan. 17 after announcing that he was being treated for cancer.

1:20pm

Thu March 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Hemp Supporters Blast Amendment Calling for Further Study

James Comer
Credit File Photo

Kentucky's industrial hemp supporters lashed out Thursday against a last-minute amendment to the hemp bill that's been under consideration this year in the General Assembly. State Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Sandy Hook Democrat and the majority floor leader, has proposed an amendment turning the Senate-approve hemp bill into a five year study. It also gives the licensing responsibilities to Kentucky State Police, which argues that legalized hemp would harm law enforcement efforts to target hemp's cousin, marijuana.

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1:06pm

Thu March 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Pension Negotiations Continue Through Recess

Lawmakers continue to work toward a resolution on public employee pensions, arguably the top unresolved issue of the 2013 legislative session. House and Senate leaders have been at an impasse on systematic changes to pension plans for future state and municipal workers, legislators and judges, as well as funding methods to pay for pension contributions expected to cost up to $120 million more in fiscal year 2015.

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