All Politics are Local

1:53pm

Thu February 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Bill Transferring Medicaid Late Payments to Insurance Department Clears House Committee

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House Speaker Greg Stumbo's bill that would transfer late payments claims in Medicaid managed care has cleared its first committee. The legislation moves dealing with late payment issues between health care providers and managed care organizations to the Department of Insurance's third party system. Currently, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services deals with those issues—but how those issues are dealt with has become a major issue in Kentucky's managed care system.

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12:48pm

Thu February 21, 2013
All Politics are Local

Amendment Made to Electronic Voting Bill for Military Personnel

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Kentucky military personnel could get their election ballots electronically—but the ballots would have to be printed and returned to county clerks via snail mail, under changes made to a bill Thursday in a state Senate committee meeting.

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6:10pm

Wed February 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Fairness Campaign Hopes for Kentucky House Hearing

Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — Seeking the passage of three pieces of legislation protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, more than 200 people rallied on Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda with Kentucky's Fairness Campaign. 

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6:01pm

Wed February 20, 2013
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Rand Paul Reticent About Potential Tea Party Challenger to Mitch McConnell

Rand Paul and Matthew Bevin
Credit Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons and foxnews.com

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul isn’t sure if Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin would pose a problem for Mitch McConnell in a primary election. The wealthy investor acknowledged an interest in taking on McConnell and has been in discussion with Tea Party groups. A Bevin spokeswoman said several individuals have voiced "frustration with their current representation" in Washington.

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5:52pm

Wed February 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

University Bonding Bill Passes Both Chambers

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A bill allowing most of Kentucky's public universities to start more than $360 million in bonding projects has officially cleared both legislative chambers. The Senate passed the bill 36-1 today, with Sen. John Schickel, a Union Republican, as the lone dissenting vote. 

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5:49pm

Wed February 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Senate Committee Approves Election Bill

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Kentucky's governor and other statewide constitutional officers would be elected in the same year as presidential elections under a bill approved Wednesday in a state Senate committee. Without a change, statewide constitutional officers—including the secretary of state, state auditor and others—would be next up for election in 2015. 

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5:45pm

Wed February 20, 2013
All Politics are Local

Last-Minute Casino Gambling Amendment Introduced in the Kentucky House

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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

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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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

Bill Increasing Booster Seat Height Passes House Committee

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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
All Politics are Local

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
All Politics are Local

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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