First Lady Michelle Obama will join former University of Kentucky President Dr. Charles Wethington and Kentucky author Silas House as speakers at Eastern Kentucky University’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11. Three ceremonies, all in Alumni Coliseum, will recognize a total of 2,428 degree candidates.
A bill has already been pre-filed for the Kentucky General Assembly's 2014 session—and it deals with the use of drones in the state. Republican state Rep. Diane St. Onge bill limits how unmanned aircraft can be used. It allows U.S. military personnel to use drones in Kentucky for practice purposes. And it also allows drones to be used by law enforcement agencies if they have a specific warrant to do so.
Democratic groups are increasing the pressure on Senator Mitch McConnell as he gears up for next year's re-election campaign, launching attacks that focus on McConnell's recent actions in the U.S. Senate. The Senate Majority PAC, run by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has created a website called “Beltway Mitch,” targeting McConnell for his refusal to compromise on sequestration, and the effects of sequestration on school districts in Kentucky.
A new poll shows Sen. Mitch McConnell with a precarious lead over potential Democratic challengers. The survey from Public Policy Polling shows McConnell with a four point lead over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes—45 to 41—and a five point lead over former Congressman Ben Chandler.
With action by the governor on every bill passed in the 2013 session, some of the more interesting new laws are starting to stick out. There are always a few bills that get lobbyists and lawmakers rolling their eyes, and this year is no different.
Governor Steve Beshear is allowing a bill regulating hemp in Kentucky to become law without his signature. Supporters of Senate Bill 50 were concerned that the governor might veto the bill after continuing expressing concerns law enforcement had with the bill that it would allow increased marijuana growing.
Governor Steve Beshear has signed bills allowing alcohol sales on election day, reforming the state's pension system and finding revenue to pay for the reforms.The governor signed the bills today, two days before his deadline to do so.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.