State Capitol

Senate GOP Majority Caucus Stages Retreat in Berea

Nov 30, 2017
Stu Johnson

The president of the Kentucky senate says a special legislative session on pension reforms could still happen between now and the end of December.  Robert Stivers admits the window of opportunity for a likely five day session is closing a bit day by day.

Stivers along with other GOP senate leaders are in Berea for a majority caucus retreat. 

wkms.org

Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover has reached a confidential settlement over sexual harassment allegations made by a woman who works on his staff.

That's according to a report from the Louisville Courier Journal. The report claims the agreement was made last week after the leader of the House received a demand letter from the woman’s lawyer over allegations dating back to 2016. 

Ryland Barton

Hundreds of state employees and retirees rallied on the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday night, protesting Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to the state’s troubled pension plans.

kentucky.com

The sponsor of legislation establishing medical review panels in Kentucky anticipates the legality of the measure to be reviewed by the State Supreme Court.

Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd ruled Monday the new law unconstitutional.

CORRECTION: The initial web story incorrectly indicated the Kentucky Justice Association assisted in challenging the Medical Review Panel law.

kentucky.com

Gov. Matt Bevin is pitching to business groups across the state his bill that would—among other things—move most future and some current state workers onto 401(k) style plans.  Lawmakers in rural parts of the state have been slow to support the proposal. 

The plan has drawn fire from state employees who worry that future hires and current ones affected by the changes would receive less-generous benefits from the state. 

kentucky.com

The leader of the democratic minority in Kentucky’s House of Representatives is not convinced a special legislative session is the best way to go in working to solve public pension problems.  

Rocky Adkins offered his thoughts following an event Monday at the Scott County Toyota Plant. 

Plaque Declaring Jefferson Davis a 'Hero' to be Removed

Oct 24, 2017
wkyt.com

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A plaque attached to a statue of Jefferson Davis in Kentucky's Capitol will be removed because it refers to the only president of the Confederacy as a hero and a patriot.

The state's Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted to remove the plaque during a specially called meeting on Tuesday.

 


aldf.org

Louisville State Senator Morgan McGarvey is seeking to expand Kentucky's so-called “Look Before You Lock” law to include domestic animals.

The leader of an animal welfare group is raising concerns about the pre-filed legislation.

 

lrc.ky.gov

A Republican leader in the Kentucky Senate still believes the General Assembly is on target to hold a late October or early November special session on pension reform.

A party colleague in the House says it will likely be a harder vote for freshmen lawmakers.

 


Kentucky.com/Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky House lawmakers have held a private meeting Tuesday to discuss the state's troubled pension system.

Republican and Democratic legislators met at the State Capitol for about two hours.   

 


Stu Johnson

Kentucky’s governor says there’s some question about the agenda for a special legislative session he plans to call this fall.

Governor Matt Bevin participated in the annual Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit Friday.  


As self-driving cars become a reality in other parts of the country, state lawmakers are considering how to regulate the vehicles in Kentucky.

During a legislative hearing Thursday about automated driving, experts said the technology can increase safety and road capacity while reducing traffic congestion and freight costs.

But safety liability concerns remain for some, like Sen. C.B. Embry, a Republican from Morgantown.

State Releases Highway Project Priority List

Jun 27, 2017
transportation.ky.gov

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is releasing a list of statewide projects to help in the development of the next highway plan. 

Regional transportation leaders are being asked to help prioritize road projects.


A new Kentucky law will shield entities donating food to nonprofits from liability with the goal of increasing food donations. 

governor.ky.gov

Governor Bevin doesn’t anticipate the special legislative session planned later this year to provide all the tax reform solutions.  

The governor reiterated his intent to call lawmakers back to Frankfort for a tax session before the end of the year. 

But, Bevin says it won’t be a session to end all sessions on tax reform.  “Not everything we would like to get done will get done necessarily in this single session,” said Bevin.  “I mean taxes are an ongoing thing, not only for Kentucky, but for every state, everywhere.  There’s always some moving part.”

Gov. Bevin Pushing for Tax Reform

Apr 21, 2017
kentucky.com

Jim Carroll started working for Kentucky’s state parks system in 1978 making $780 a month.

“So I knew the pay wasn’t good but I knew that it was a place where you could advance over time,” Carroll said. “It was stable, and retirement was part of that.”

Carroll later worked in the tourism cabinet and retired in 2009. Since then, he’s organized a group of concerned state pensioners called Kentucky Government Retirees.

Members of Kentucky Adoption Task Force Named

Apr 19, 2017
adopt.ky.gov

Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover has announced a new task force that will overhaul the state’s adoption process. A bi-partisan group of eight House members are tasked with streamlining the process and making it more affordable. 

Kentucky Has Tested Just Over A Third Of Rape Kit Backlog

Jan 23, 2017

More than a year after discovering a backlog of more 3,000 untested rape kits, Kentucky authorities have completed testing slightly more than a third of them and are beginning to launch criminal investigations.

“You will see criminal proceedings this year,” Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear said Thursday.

Kentucky.com

  Tax reform is likely to be next on the agenda for Kentucky lawmakers. 

 

Senate President Pro Tem David Givens said Gov.  Bevin Is putting the groundwork in place.  “The vast majority of the leadership and the credibility of the governor has to be put behind the effort.  And I sense Governor Bevin is positioning to do that,” said Givens.

Face of State Capitol Getting a Makeover

Nov 3, 2016
Stu Johnson

It’s been nearly a half century since the Frankfort home of Kentucky's government got the kind of attention it’s getting this fall as power washing crews tackle the front of the Capitol Building. 

Project Manager Bernie Engelman says this type of thorough cleaning and mortar joint work hasn’t been done for 40 to 50 years. 

He says it’s needed to help protect against weather-related damage,  “If water were to get into the cracks or into the mortar joints, and start getting in there, it could freeze and thaw and pop parts of the limestone off.”

kentucky.com

With fewer than three weeks before Election Day, Kentucky lawmakers on opposing sides of the aisle have differing views about the likelihood of a change in the state's House majority.  The GOP has been eyeing the 100-member chamber for years.

Kentucky Labor Secretary Pushes For Apprenticeships To Train Workforce

Oct 13, 2016
labor.ky.gov

Kentucky’s labor secretary is trying to get more employers to offer apprenticeship programs that provide employment and on-the-job training for new workers entering an industry.

 

There are currently about 1,100 employers that have registered apprenticeship programs in Kentucky, employing about 3,000 people.

Derrick Ramsey, secretary of the Labor Cabinet, said apprenticeship programs will help train Kentucky’s workforce and attract new businesses.

Ky. Officials Seek Extension On REAL ID Implementation

Oct 4, 2016
wkyt.com

State officials have requested an extension to bring the state’s driver license policies into compliance with federal regulations to avoid locking out Kentuckians from federal institutions, nuclear facilities and eventually, commercial airplanes.

All states are required to be in compliance with federal REAL ID driver licenses and state identification standards put into effect in 2008 to help abate terrorism. Kentucky is one of 31 states that is not compliant or has an extension that expires on Oct 10.

Judge Rules Bevin Can’t Overhaul U of L Board

Sep 28, 2016
wkyt.com

A judge has ruled that Gov. Matt Bevin cannot unilaterally reorganize a public university’s board of trustees and dismiss all of its members, calling it an “unprecedented assertion of executive power.”

In June, Bevin issued an executive order abolishing the University of Louisville’s board of trustees, citing dysfunction on the board. He later created a new board and appointed all new members. Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Bevin over the move.

kentucky.com

Kentucky’s highest court says the state’s Republican governor cannot cut the budgets of public colleges and universities without the approval of the state legislature.

The 5-2 ruling by the state Supreme Court reverses a lower court ruling that said Gov. Matt Bevin had the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear appealed, arguing Bevin’s order was illegal. A majority of the court agreed on Thursday, saying Bevin does not have that authority.

Bevin Joins Lawsuit Challenging New Overtime Pay Rule

Sep 21, 2016
wkyt.com

Gov. Bevin has added Kentucky to a multi-state lawsuit against the federal government over a new rule that makes more people eligible to receive overtime pay.

Starting in December, the new policy will require employers to pay overtime to people who make up to $47,476 a year ($913 per week). Currently employers only have to pay overtime to people who make up to $23,660 a year.

Bevin opposes the rule, saying it would increase employment costs for the state and private employers.

Lawmaker Alleges Bevin Pulled Road Project As Political Punishment

Aug 30, 2016
kentucky.com

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Gov. Matt Bevin should be investigated for allegedly halting a road project as political punishment for a state representative who refused to switch political parties.

Rep. Russ Meyer, a Democrat from Nicholasville, released audio of a voicemail he received from the governor in December in which he says Bevin threatened retribution for not switching political parties.

Social Workers to Receive Pay Raises

Aug 15, 2016
chfs.ky.gov

    

More than 37 hundred Kentucky social workers and those in Family Support will see an increase in pay, effective next month.  The $4.8 million appropriation in the current two year state budget also impacts corrections workers.

Governor Creates New Claims Commission

Aug 9, 2016
kentucky.com

    

Governor Matt Bevin has issued an executive order that will consolidate three separate claims boards into a single administrative body. The Governor hopes the new organization will be both more efficient and more cost effective.

The new agency, called the Kentucky Claims Commission, will handle crime victim compensation, tax appeals, and negligence claims against the state.

Judge Rules on U of L Board Suit

Jul 29, 2016
rowlanddesign.com

    

A Franklin Court Judge Friday issued a temporary block on Governor Matt Bevin’s overhaul of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees. It’s a result of a challenge of the governor’s actions last month.

On June 17th, Governor Bevin issued an order abolishing the University of Louisville Board and appointing one that he has called “smaller and more efficient.”

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