State Capitol

3:57pm

Sun December 21, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky House Leaders Get Behind Local Sales Tax Option

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Kentucky House leaders are joining the mayors of the state's two largest cities in lobbying for a local sales tax option.  The initiative will be outlined in House bill One that will be before lawmakers this February.

The proposal is characterized as a way for local citizens to have a say in how designated tax funds are spent.  If the bill is adopted by the legislature, and then statewide by voters, local governments could put up to a one percent sales tax before their citizens.   

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3:38pm

Mon December 1, 2014
State Capitol

GOP Rep. Ryan Quarles to Run for Agriculture Commissioner

KY. State Congressman Ryan Quarles
Credit Lexington Herald Leader

A three-term Republican state lawmaker says he will seek the Republican nomination for state Agriculture Commissioner.

 

 

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9:57pm

Sun November 16, 2014
State Capitol

Legislative Committee Briefed on Hemp Research Plans for 2015

Credit dailyherald.com

    

The State Agriculture Committee heard an update last week on Kentucky's hemp pilot project. In September, researchers at the University of Kentucky harvested the first legal crop in decades. UK Plant Sciences Professor David Williams says there's growing interest in a variety of hemp supported products.  "They're particularly interested in the vast of the long strong fibers for composite materials like car door panels, pseudo plastics, particle board type products, building construction materials," said Williams.

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10:32pm

Sun November 9, 2014
State Capitol

Dating Violence Bill Undergoes Rewrite

Credit domestic-violence.laws.com

Attempts to win approval of dating violence legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly could be bolstered by a new strategy.  Kentucky Domestic Violence Association Director Sherry Currens says lawmakers will be asked to consider creating a new section in Kentucky Revised Statutes for domestic partner dating violence. Currens says the domestic partner statutes pertaining to dating violence have been aired in the state capital numerous times.  "And it's calling it an IPO, so it's an interpersonal protective order and it will be in chapter 456.

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1:59pm

Thu November 6, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor to Resign for Washington Job

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor is resigning his state government position to make a move to Washington.  His replacement is someone with a great deal of experience in Frankfort.

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4:28pm

Thu October 23, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Lawmaker Indicted on Bribery Related Charge

Credit Legislative Research Commission

A federal grand jury has indicted an eastern Kentucky lawmaker. Phelps Representative Keith Hall is charged with paying bribes to a mine reclamation inspector to ignore violations.

The London grand jury named Hall and former state mine reclamation inspector Kelly Shortridge in an alleged scheme to ensure Hall's mines passed inspection.

The indictment states Hall and Shortridge set up a shell company, DKJ Consulting. Prosecutors say Hall then used a company he owned, S&K Properties, to funnel money to Shortridge.

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4:47pm

Tue October 14, 2014
State Capitol

Southern Lawmakers Coming to Lexington in Summer 2016

Credit secured.csg.org

For the first time since 1988, Lexington will play host to lawmakers and other government officials from 15 southern states.    The formal announcement was made this morning (yesterday) that the Southern Legislative Conference will be held in the city in July of 2016.  

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3:39pm

Mon October 13, 2014
State Capitol

State's New Automated Collection System On Line

Credit taxrate.com

Officials with the Kentucky Department of Revenue hope a new automated collection system will help the state efficiently collect delinquent taxes. The new $20 million system went on-line this fall. 

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4:01pm

Wed September 24, 2014
State Capitol

State Prison Officials: Starvation Prompted Changes

Credit richmondconnected.com

Kentucky prison officials say multiple changes have been made in the wake of an inmate's starvation and dehydration death at the Kentucky State Penitentiary earlier this year.

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5:50pm

Mon September 15, 2014
State Capitol

Former State Worker Fined for Mistreating Women

Credit klec.ky.gov

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has finished its investigation into the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, fining a former assistant director on Monday for mistreating women.


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4:57pm

Mon July 28, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Treasurer Says Suspicious Mail Making Rounds

Credit practicalwaystosavemoney.com

Officials with the state treasurer's office are giving Kentuckians a 'heads up' about some questionable unclaimed property mailings.  

Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says the postcards carry a Denver postmark.  Bethany Goad is with the Kentucky treasurer's office in Frankfort.  "They were finding in multiple reports, it was an internet company that was sending cards who was a debt collector and the cards were reported to be blue, yellow, orange, or green," said Goad.

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4:19pm

Thu July 17, 2014
State Capitol

State Revenue Shortfall Worries Business Sector

Steps are being taken to deal with a 90 million dollar state revenue shortfall.  Governor Steve Beshear announced a budget reduction plan Wednesday. 

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4:40pm

Thu June 12, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky To Receive Over $100 Million in Tobacco Settlement

Credit bizjournals.com

Kentucky will receive about $110 million from an agreement between the state and tobacco companies over the state’s alleged mishandling of tobacco settlement funds.

An arbitration court ruled last year that Kentucky and five other states mishandled their management of the tobacco funds beginning in 2003. The funds have been paid by tobacco companies since 1998 to shore up state health-care costs associated with tobacco usage.

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3:18pm

Thu June 12, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky State Police Reopen Investigation of Former LRC Director's Document Shredding

Credit wfpl.org

Kentucky State Police has reopened its investigation into the document shredding by former Legislative Research Commission executive director Bobby Sherman.

The Courier-Journal reported Wednesday that there will be a new probe into Sherman's shredding of work documents.

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10:44pm

Thu June 5, 2014
State Capitol

Lexington Prosecutor Believes Sentencing Changes Fall Short

Credit archive.courier-journal.com

Fayette County's head prosecutor says many offenders are not concerned with criminal charges, but rather the possibility of being housed in prison or jail.  Veteran Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson is reacting to a Pew Charitable Trusts' study this week on the effect of sentencing changes approved three years ago. 

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10:21pm

Tue June 3, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky City Takes Retirement System to Court

Credit examiner.com

A Kentucky city is suing the state's public pension system over its investment of county employees' retirement money into "risky" hedge funds. 

An attorney for Ft. Wright, a northern Kentucky city of 5,700, filed a class-action lawsuit Monday alleging that Kentucky Retirement Systems improperly used money from one of its subsidiary funds to make investments that were illegal under state law. 

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3:21pm

Fri May 30, 2014
State Capitol

Who Spent the Most Lobbying Ky General Assembly In 2014 Session?

Credit kentuckytourism.com

Lobbyists spent $8.7 million to lobby Kentucky lawmakers this year—and tobacco giant Altria led the pack at $156,000, According to records released by the Legislative Ethics Commission this week.

Some have pointed to the tobacco lobby's heavy spending during the 2014 session as a major contributing factor in the defeat of a statewide smoking ban.

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10:32pm

Fri May 9, 2014
State Capitol

Ky. Filing Claims Same-Sex Marriage Harmful to Economy

Credit nydailynews.com

In a brief filed in court, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says same sex marriage would hurt the economy by not producing children.  Supporters of same-sex marriage say their opponents are running out of ideas.

First, it was a matter of tradition, then a moral issue. Now, after courts across the country have thrown out multiple arguments in favor of banning same-sex marriage, the Beshear Administration is on the vanguard of a new logic: Dollars & cents.

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11:13pm

Wed May 7, 2014
State Capitol

In Reversal, Ky. Leg. Ethics Commission Finds Former Lawmaker John Arnold Guilty

Credit wkms.org

After hours of deliberation and sparring with his defense attorney—not to mention the news media—a full quorum of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission on Wednesday voted to reprimand and fine former state Rep. John Arnold.

It was the second, and final, hearing in the ethics case brought against the Western Kentucky Democrat by female state House staffers.

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12:15pm

Tue May 6, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway Announces Run for Governor

Credit ag.ky.gov

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway officially announced in a video press release on Tuesday his candidacy for governor, adding that he has tapped House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, as his running mate.

“Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and continue to move Kentucky forward, and we begin doing that by building a great team.The strength of this gubernatorial ticket is bolstered by Rep. Sannie Overly’s record of accomplishments.”

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5:50pm

Thu April 24, 2014
State Capitol

Former Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen Opts Not to Run for Governor

Crit Luallen
Credit businesswire.com

Former state Auditor Crit Luallen says she will not run for governor in 2015. Luallen has been mentioned as a possible Democratic contender as Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear finishes his second term. Luallen says she decided not to run because it was the best decision for her family.  Luallen's decision could open the door for Attorney General Jack Conway.

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10:05pm

Wed April 16, 2014
State Capitol

Last Minutes of 2014 Legislative Session Included Nuclear-Coal Debate

Credit caer.uky.edu

The waning hours of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly session found senators debating nuclear and coal-based power.  The discussion occurred during consideration of a bill to help AK Steel, a manufacturer suffering sizable job loss. 

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1:14pm

Wed April 16, 2014
State Capitol

Multi Billion Dollar Road Plan Adopted on Last Day of Session

Credit kentucky.com

Lawmakers waited until the last few hours of the 2014 General Assembly session before they approved a statewide road plan.  House and Senate members agreed to spend more than 3 billion dollars in state money over the next two years for repair and replacement of  roads and bridges.  The Senate voted 37-to-1 for the measure.   Senate Speaker Pro Tem Katie Stine cast the only "no" vote.  Her concern focused in part on a source of funding for a new outer loop highway in northern Kentucky.  

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1:07pm

Wed April 16, 2014
State Capitol

Session Ends Without Requested Rupp Money

Credit kentucky.com

Proponents of Lexington's Rupp Arena project will likely be looking for new sources of funding to re-work the downtown complex.  Kentucky lawmakers left Frankfort just after midnight Wednesday without backing a plan to borrow 80 million dollars toward the capital construction effort.  Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas called it disappointing that legislators didn't come up with support for a project which could create five thousand jobs.  

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12:47pm

Wed April 16, 2014
State Capitol

Bourbon Barrel Tax Break Signed Into Law

Credit farmflavor.com

Kentucky's bourbon industry is about to gain an income tax credit.  Beginning next year, distilleries can get the credit for state and local property taxes paid on aging barrels of bourbon.  Governor Steve Beshear signed the bill into law Tuesday afternoon.  Former Maker's Mark President Bill Samuels Jr. says Kentucky needs to maintain its position in the industry.  

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3:45pm

Tue April 15, 2014
State Capitol

Still No Vote on State Road Plan

Credit kentuckyroads.com

Leaders in the House and Senate appear closer to reaching an agreement on a three billion dollar road plan.  Differences between the two chambers have made negotiations difficult.  House Budget Review Committee on Transportation Chair Leslie Combs says there's still some details to work out.  

"We're back and moving forward. It's never done until it's done.  As far as a time frame, I've been asked that a couple of times, we've got til midnight tonight," said Combs.

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3:40pm

Tue April 15, 2014
State Capitol

State Funding for Rupp Coming Down to the Wire

As the hours pass on the 60th and final day of the 2014 General Assembly, it looks more unlikely Kentucky legislators will reach agreement on state funding for the Rupp Arena project.  The governor initially suggested borrowing 65 million dollars to go toward construction of the new Rupp facility.  The senate opted to delete that funding.  If not passed, House Speaker Greg Stumbo doesn't believe it's an issue which deserves special session attention.  

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7:23am

Tue April 15, 2014
State Capitol

Rupp Financing Still A Topic in Frankfort

Credit kentucky.com

State of Kentucky and Lexington officials are considering revised strategies for funding the proposed Rupp Arena project.  Governor Beshear said yesterday it would not involve any increase in the hotel/motel tax in Lexington, but it does call for the state to increase its commitment from 65 to 80 million dollars.  

In his budget address last week, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray called for borrowing 40 million dollars for the downtown project.

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7:20am

Tue April 15, 2014
State Capitol

Electronic Cigarettes Out of Minors' Hands

Credit kentucky.com

A new Kentucky law banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors is being hailed as a step to curb teenage use of tobacco products.  With the official signing by Governor Beshear, the sale of all types of e-cigarettes to minors is now illegal. 

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12:45am

Sun April 13, 2014
State Capitol

Beshear Signs Cannabis Oil Bill

Credit courier-journal.com

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Doctors at two university research hospitals can now prescribe oil derived from marijuana or hemp to treat patients.

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