All Politics are Local

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.

5:16pm

Wed March 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Senator Rand Paul Joins Democrat to Give Judges More Flexibility in Federal Sentencing

Senator Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Joining Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill to allow judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes where a mandatory minimum punishment is considered unnecessary. The bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 will expand the so-called "safety valve", which allows judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum in qualifying drug cases. 

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5:11pm

Wed March 20, 2013

10:23am

Wed March 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Louisville Mayor Speaks Out Against 'Religious-Freedom' Bill

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File Photo

After pressure from local gay rights and city lawmakers, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to veto the so-called religious freedom bill. The bill would allow residents to ignore any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith. Last week, the mayor and city commissioners of Covington joined the chorus of those against the legislation.

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1:06pm

Tue March 19, 2013
All Politics are Local

Potential Republican Challenger to McConnell Expands Outreach to Kentucky Tea Party

Credit foxnews.com

A Louisville businessman exploring a Republican primary against U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is setting up meetings with Tea Party groups in Central Kentucky. David Adams, a tea party activist from Central Kentucky, said he's planning to meet with Bevin next week in Lexington with other activists to familiarize themselves with Matt Bevin, the possible Republican Senate candidate and a Louisvillian who runs the Connecticut-based Bevin Brothers Manufacturing.

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5:26pm

Mon March 18, 2013
All Politics are Local

Covington City Leaders Ask Beshear to Block 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

The mayor and city commissioners of Covington, Kentucky are asking Governor Steve Beshear to block the so-called ‘religious freedom’ bill, renewing pressure for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to join the opposition. In a unanimously approved resolution, the commission says HB 279 presents a risk to Covington’s Human Rights Ordinance, which forbids discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered residents.

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5:21pm

Mon March 18, 2013
All Politics are Local

State Leaders Continue Pension Talks

Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

State leaders are still working to find solutions to the Kentucky's troubled pension system—but he's not promising a deal the time the General Assembly regular session ends next week, Gov. Steve Beshear said on Monday.

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5:19pm

Mon March 18, 2013
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Beshear Signs Bill That Will Raise Dropout Age to 18

Credit Shutterstock.com

After five years of advocacy, supporters of raising Kentucky's dropout age to 18  celebrated Monday as Gov. Steve Beshear signed the bill into law. Flanked by House and Senate lawmakers—as well as First Lady Jane Beshear—the governor officially signed the law in a ceremony in his conference room. The bill would make raising the dropout age voluntarily for school districts until 55 percent of all districts made the change. Then it would become mandatory statewide. The legislation is a compromise reached by lawmakers in the 2013 General Assembly session.

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4:23pm

Sun March 17, 2013
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul Wins CPAC Presidential Straw Poll

Credit U.S. Senate

Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, beating several high-profile names among his party's potential 2016 White House contenders. Paul edged out GOP rival and fellow Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in the largely symbolic survey among a crowded field of two dozen candidates. Those Paul bested include former Republican vice presidential nominees Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan. 

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12:44pm

Fri March 15, 2013
All Politics are Local

Senator Rand Paul Calls for New GOP

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said the GOP has "grown stale and moss covered" and needs to embrace libertarianism. "The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. If we're going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP," he said.

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12:35pm

Fri March 15, 2013
All Politics are Local

Taxpayers Foot the Bill for State Senate Dinner

Taxpayers footed the nearly $1,000 bill for boxed barbecue dinners provided to state senators and their staffs as they worked late into the evening on March 7. It was the first time since April 15, 2008, that taxpayers' dollars were used to feed the Republican-led Senate during a legislative session, according to state records. The Democrat-led House has not bought its members a meal during a legislative session since March 2007.

4:09pm

Thu March 14, 2013
All Politics are Local

Lexington Reporter Pulled from Democratic Club Meeting After Call from McConnell's Office

Democratic sources are alleging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s office pressured the Lexington Herald-Leader to stop a reporter from addressing a political club, but the newspaper's editor denies any such demands were made. Journalist John Cheves was invited to speak before the Louisville Metropolitan Democratic Club this week to talk about an investigative series he wrote on Kentucky's senior Senator in 2006.

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