State Capitol

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.”

Ky. Chief Justice to Head National Judiciary Groups

Jul 28, 2016
courier-journal.com

Kentucky’s Chief Justice has been selected to head two national judicial groups.  It’s the first time in a quarter century that a head jurist from the Commonwealth has held either of these posts.

Chief Justice John Minton is beginning a one year stint as president of the Conference of Chief Justices as well as being chair the National Center for State Courts Board of Directors. 

Ky. Expungement Law Takes Effect

Jul 15, 2016
lawhelplouisville.com

Kentuckians with certain felony convictions can now begin the process of having such Class D offenses expunged.  July 15th marks the first effective day of the legislation approved by lawmakers earlier this year. 

Kentucky Public Advocate Ed Monahan expects thousands to seek removal of non-violent felonies.  “Once they get rid of that one felony, they’re going to come out from under an economic death sentence and their going to have a chance to provide better for their families and be even better contributors to their community,” explained Monahan.

State Launching $100 Million Workforce Development Initiative

Jul 13, 2016
wtvq.com

   Governor Bevin has officially kicked off a $100 million statewide bond program focusing on enhancing workforce development.  The Work Ready Skills Initiative seeks to better align education programs with workforce needs.

West Virginia and Louisiana Lawmakers Weigh-In On Medicaid

Jul 13, 2016
kyforward.com

State officials in communities all across the country wrestle with some of the same issues.  The future of Medicaid is a popular topic in Kentucky and other states.  Lawmakers from 15 states have been in Lexington for the Southern Legislative Conference. 

Group Seeks to Make Davis Statue Harder to Move from Capitol Rotunda

Jul 11, 2016
wkms.org

Kentucky's state curator says a citizens group is seeking a special military designation for a statue of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis, displayed in Kentucky's Capitol Rotunda. 

The Friends of the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site told The Lexington Herald-Leader it wants the statue to remain where it's been for decades. Placing the statue on the Military Heritage Commission's list of military sites and objects would likely make it more difficult to ever relocate it.

Bevin Pushes For Reduced Regs, Doesn’t Name Any He’d Remove

Jul 6, 2016
courier-journal.com

Gov. Matt Bevin is taking requests to remove state regulations, which he says prevent businesses from relocating to Kentucky.

Bevin’s office has set up a website, RedTapeReduction.comwhere people can “report a reg” and describe how the policy is “hurting you/your business.”

In a video announcing the initiative, Bevin said removing regulations will make Kentucky more attractive to businesses looking to relocate.

Statewide ‘Fairness’ Bill Still Faces Political Hurdles In Kentucky

Jul 5, 2016
wkyt.com

    

Liberal state lawmakers have for 16 years pushed for a bill that would amend Kentucky’s civil rights code to protect people from discrimination in the workplace, housing and other areas based on their sexual orientation.

Dubbed the fairness bill, the measure has gotten considerable attention from the press and advocates each year it’s been proposed, but it hasn’t ever gotten traction in the legislature.

These Are The New State Laws That Go Into Effect This Month

Jul 4, 2016
lrc.state.ky.us

Although the 2016 General Assembly ended back in April, its effects will be felt in mid-July, when a bevy of laws go into effect.

Most new laws are given a 90-day window for state agencies and other offices to prepare for their implementation. Here’s a rundown of some of the major laws that will take effect on July 15.

Amid Overcrowding, Kentucky Considers Reopening Private Prisons

Jun 24, 2016
courier-journal.com

    State prisons are at capacity, county jails are overcrowded and the state is recommending transferring about 1,600 inmates to private prisons that have been shuttered for the past several years.

Officials ended the state’s last private prison contract in 2013, partly as a cost savings measure and also in response to scandals at privately owned prisons in the state.

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