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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.