kentucky

Kentucky.com

Representatives of five programs at Eastern Kentucky University are joining together to track free-roaming horses in the rural southeastern part of the state by flying over Breathitt County early Friday.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Duard Rutledge voted for Donald Trump and Rand Paul for the same reason: They’re not afraid of a fight.

That’s why the 66-year-old retired Toyota worker wasn’t worried to see Kentucky’s junior senator getting in the way of the Republican plan to replace Obama’s health care law.

“When you get two thoroughbreds, they are high strung,” he said. “But if you get them headed the right way they can both win the race.”

A controversial bill that would change the way local school districts assign students to schools is running out of time as lawmakers close in on the final four working days of the General Assembly.

The bill would give priority to students who live closest to schools — and would likely mean the end of Louisville’s anti-segregation program designed to mingle students from different races, backgrounds and parts of town in the same schools.

Bill Aims To Reduce Student Athlete Concussions

Mar 9, 2017
Kentucky.com

Kentucky lawmakers are considering steps to reduce concussion-related complications for student-athletes with a bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee Thursday.

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky House voted 77 to 18 in favor of a school calendar bill offering districts an option for when class begin after summer break.


Kentucky.com

The Kentucky Senate has added emergency first responders to the list of protected groups when it comes to hate crimes with a as 33 to 5 vote after much debate on the Senate floor Tuesday.


More than 81,000 Kentuckians signed up for health insurance plans during the first open enrollment period under Healthcare.gov, state officials reported on Tuesday. That’s almost as many Kentuckians as enrolled through the defunct Kynect last year.

The Bevin administration dismantled the state-based health insurance exchange as one of its first acts, keeping a campaign promise from Gov. Matt Bevin. Kynect was created by former Gov. Steve Beshear as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Kentuckytourism.Gov

Two state legislative resolutions calling for a national constitutional convention got a hearing Monday in Frankfort.  Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chair Kenny Imes told the packed room no vote would come this session, but the issue would be studied over the next year. 

 Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare’s resolution contains balanced budget and state’s rights language.

Eku.edu

Proposed legislation that would institute performance-based funding for public universities and community colleges is now on its way to the floor of the Kentucky House not without an unsuccessful effort Tuesday to make changes in the budget committee.

Damon Thayer

A bill doubling the individual campaign contribution limit in Kentucky continues to move through the General Assembly, emerging from the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Monday.

Bill Aims To Reduce Deer Damage

Mar 7, 2017
Kentucky.com

The House is being asked to urge the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to take steps to help reduce deer-related property or vehicle damage in certain regions of the Commonwealth, after the Senate passed a bill Friday.


'Religious Expression Bill' Moving Forward

Mar 6, 2017
Kentucky.com

The so-called “Freedom of Religious Expression” bill is before Kentucky House members and likely to get a vote this week after winning overwhelming approval in the Senate.

Senate Bill 17 spells out permission for school students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments or during school activities.   Elizabethtown Representative Tim Moore carried the bill in the House Education Committee.

Over the past few years, there have been numerous documented instances of contaminated water leaching from a coal ash pond in Central Kentucky into groundwater and directly into Herrington Lake. Now, state regulators are investigating high levels of selenium in the lake’s fish, and they have fined utility Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities $25,000.

Rebecca Kiger

The Road To Recovery

On a recent gray winter morning Tomas Green drove the rain slick streets of Ranson in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. No matter the weather, Green helps transport clients working through addiction at the Jefferson Day Report Center get to their treatment sessions and meetings.


After a lengthy debate and rushed legislative process, the state House of Representatives has passed a charter schools bill. The measure passed 56-39.

The legislation now heads to the state Senate, where it’s expected to pass.

Under the bill, private organizations and community members can apply to open up a charter school. Local school districts and the mayors of Lexington and Louisville would be charged with approving or denying the charters, though denials could be appealed to the state board of education.

With the clock ticking on this year’s General Assembly, a charter schools bill will be given its first hearing in a legislative committee on Friday and House Speaker Jeff Hoover said the measure will likely be heard on the House Floor for a potential vote later in the day.

Hoover said he’s confident the bill will pass despite past disagreements among Republicans over crucial parts of the legislation.

Stu Johnson

The so called "Blue Lives Matter" bill  to include police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians in Kentucky’s hate crime statute is on its way to the full Senate. The measure easily passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday.

If the legislation is enacted, anyone who attacks first responders could face an additional finding of a hate crime.  It would give judges and parole boards discretion when it comes to denying probation in those crimes.

Kentucky.com

A Kentucky House bill that would prohibit shock probation in the case of fatal accidents caused by driving under the influence is heading for a vote in the full Senate.

Bill sponsor Robert Benvenuti told the Judiciary Committee Wednesday that Kentucky is one of six states that allows shock probation in such DUI cases.


Kentucky.com

Proposed legislation regarding solar energy was passed over during a legislative meeting Tuesday. The bill concerned with net metering was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.


Nuclear Waste Bill Passes In Kentucky Senate

Mar 2, 2017
Kentucky.com

Proponents of nuclear power are hoping the seventh time is a charm at Kentucky's capitol.  The state Senate voted Wednesday to lift a moratorium preventing the storage of nuclear waste in the commonwealth. 

That action is viewed as opening the door to future nuclear reactor construction. Bill sponsor Danny Carrol admits, even with passage of this bill, such a project could be a decade away.


Bill Could Increase Food Bank Donations

Mar 2, 2017
Kentucky Association of Food Banks

A legislative effort to expand primarily retail and farmer donations to Kentucky food banks is one step away from general assembly approval.  The House bill won backing from the Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday. 

Kentucky Association of Food Banks Director Tamara Sandberg said the bill ensures donors don’t face liability issues when making food donations.  She said it affects grocery retailers and individual growers.

“This bill also establishes and clarifies that the farmers would not be liable, unless there is intentional misconduct, for any of the food that they allow volunteers to come pick in their fields,” she said.

A bill that would separate the relatively healthy retirement fund for local governments from one of the state’s ailing pension systems is dead — despite a push from local officials.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced on Thursday that he has asked bill sponsor Sen. Joe Bowen to pause the legislation.

“The most critical thing is to make sure we get this right,” Bevin said.

Bowen said he still supports the bill and argued that tabling it now would help its chances in the future.

Kentucky ranked 42nd in a new survey that looks at what makes a state a good place to live.

The survey by U.S. News & World Report considered factors such as health, education, opportunity, economy, infrastructure, crime and government.

  

The study weighted health care and education most heavily because that’s what survey respondents said they’re most concerned about. Kentucky ranked 44th in health care and 35th in education.

 

The state that earned the number one spot in the rankings is Massachusetts. At the bottom is Louisiana.

  

You can see all the details about how Kentucky and the other states rank in the complete survey.     

 As Congress considers repealing the Affordable Care Act, health professionals in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia grapple with what that might mean for a region where many depend on the law for access to care. This occasional series from the ReSource explores what’s ahead for the Ohio Valley

after Obamacare. See more stories here >>

The health care sector has grown by more than 19,000 jobs in the Ohio Valley region. And some economists who focus on health care policy are warning that many of those jobs could well hang in the balance as Congress considers changes to the Act.

Kentucky was one of the states that embraced the Affordable Care Act.

More than 500,000 Kentuckians gained health coverage as a result of the law. About 400,000 got insurance through the expansion of the Medicaid system in the state and the rest through the implementation of Kynect, the now-dismantled state health exchange.

Since the 2013 implementation of the policy, under former Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, the percentage of Kentuckians without insurance has dropped from more than 20 percent down to 8 percent.

A bill that would centralize Kentucky’s driver’s licensing program and bring the state into compliance with federal ID card rules has received initial approval from a legislative committee.

The General Assembly needs to pass the bill in order to meet stricter REAL ID standards passed by Congress more than a decade ago.

If lawmakers don’t pass the legislation, starting June 6, Kentuckians will have to bring additional identification — like a passport — in order to access military bases.

Kentucky.com

A county clerk in Kentucky is backing legislation aimed at reducing the number of special elections across the 120 counties supporting a measure approved Monday by the House Election, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.

Mountain Comprehensive Care Corportation

Mike Caudill runs Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation in five eastern Kentucky counties. Many of his 30,000 patients gained insurance through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. No one knows if or when those folks might lose coverage. But, Caudill said, the impact could be considerable.   


Ag.Ky.Gov

A controversial bill affecting the operation of the state attorney general's office won approval in the Kentucky House today and is expected to get a favorable reception as it moves to a vote in the Senate.

In addition to requiring the attorney general to explain why outside counsel is needed, the bill sets a cap at $20 million dollars that an attorney can recover in any given case. 

Providence Representative Jim Gooch said that can mean more dollars for taxpayers in large civil cases, “The more you have to pay one of these attorneys, the less money you’re going to get.”


Democrats have tapped former Gov. Steve Beshear to deliver the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat’s efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace.

Pages