State Capitol

5:47pm

Tue March 3, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky Winemakers Seek Legislative Approval to Turn Waste into Profit

Credit kylandsales.com

Kentucky winemakers are asking state lawmakers for approval to use waste products like grapes, stems, and seeds to make fortified wine. 

The Kentucky House easily approved the measure Monday and sent it on to the Senate. Kentucky Winery Association Treasurer Eddie O'Daniel says the bill would help wineries and vineyards recover lost money.  "Many times the vineyards in Kentucky, because of erratic weather conditions, the grapes are not the highest quality,” said O’Daniel.  “Up to now, they've had to just waste the fruit."

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10:17pm

Mon March 2, 2015
State Capitol

AT&T Bill Easily Passes State Senate

Credit science.opposingviews.com

Major telephone companies won’t have to offer basic land line service to residents in the 15 largest markets in the state if Gov. Steve Beshear signs a bill that passed the state Senate on Monday.

The so-called AT&T deregulation bill removes a requirement that “carriers of last resort” offer packages with 911 calling, operator service and unlimited local calls to those who ask for it in markets of more than 15,000 people.

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10:14pm

Mon March 2, 2015
State Capitol

Veterinary Medical Supplies Tax Exemption Bill Heard in KY House Committee

Credit Ezcaremedical.com

    

A proposal to exempt veterinary medicines from the state's six percent sales tax got a hearing in the house Monday.  Proponents say Kentucky is one of the few states taxing vet supplies.

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4:49pm

Fri February 27, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky Senate Passes 'Transgender Bathroom Bill'

Credit mydoorsign.com

The Kentucky Senate has acted to require public school students to use the bathroom of their biological sex.  Much of the committee discussion centered on a Louisville high school's decision to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity.  The bill is sponsored by Senator C.B. Embry of Morgantown.  "This bill is about student privacy; it also deals with choices, common sense," said Embry.

Paducah Senator Danny Carrol argued that the concerns of students who not feel comfortable sharing restrooms with transgender students, need to be considered.

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4:42pm

Fri February 27, 2015
State Capitol

Ky State Senate Sets Debt Ceiling for Future

Owensboro Senator Joe Bowen on the Senate Floor Friday
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A bill intended to reduce state debt over time is on its way to the Kentucky House.  The Senate voted 28-8 Friday in favor of the measure, which limits general fund supported debt to six percent. 

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10:42pm

Thu February 26, 2015
State Capitol

Senate Acts to Shut Down Internet Sweepstakes Cafes in Kentucky

Credit bgdailynews.com

The Kentucky Senate has approved legislation that could shut down internet sweepstakes cafes in the Commonwealth.  The computer based businesses give away chances to win monetary prizes with the purchase of a service or product. 

Proponents of the bill say the games the businesses offer are equivalent to gambling.  Bowling Green Senator Mike Wilson says the establishments in his town are impacting charitable groups.  "It has taken away from, in Warren County, the revenue that comes from charitable gambling for our veterans' organizations," said Wilson.

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8:50am

Thu February 26, 2015
State Capitol

Senate Acts on Legislation to Support SOAR Initiative

Credit kyforward.com

    

Work continues to determine the specific strategies of the 'Shaping Our Appalachian Region' initiative, usually referred to as SOAR.  Legislation to establish a grant framework has passed the Kentucky Senate.

The first SOAR Summit was staged in December of 2013 in Pikeville.  Discussions focused on the economic and social needs of eastern Kentucky.  Since then, working groups have met several times.  New legislation would create the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund.  The measure does not specify how it will be funded. 

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5:50pm

Wed February 25, 2015
State Capitol

House Panel Approves Bill to Permit Alcoholic Beverages on Tourist Pedaling Carts

Credit coupz.com

Under a bill making its way through the Kentucky House, multi-passenger bicycle cart businesses that shuttle riders to area bars could be allowed to serve alcohol on board. The measure emerged from the Licensing and Occupations Committee Wednesday.  Shelbyville Representative Brad Montell says the bill could boost tourism in cities like Louisville and Lexington.  "It permits businesses like the 'Thirsty Pedaler' to be licensed and then to transport their customers from site to site while they have an alcoholic beverage in hand," said Montell.

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5:46pm

Wed February 25, 2015
State Capitol

KY House Backs Workers Comp Coverage for Firefighters

Credit facebook.com

A bill to include workers compensation protections for certain types of cancer found in firefighters is headed to the Kentucky Senate.  The House approved the measure Wednesday.  Chris Bartley represents firefighters in Lexington.  He says studies show that firefighters are at a higher risk of cancer affecting the prostate, brain, and colon, among others.  "It gives the presumption that this is a job related injury," said Bartley.

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5:50pm

Tue February 24, 2015
State Capitol

Public Private Partnerships Advance in the KY House

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A legislative effort to make public-private partnerships available for state funded projects or services is moving forward in Frankfort.

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5:47pm

Tue February 24, 2015
State Capitol

Booster Seat Bill Emerges from House Committee

Credit article.wn.com

Booster seat advocates say legislative action is needed to fix Kentucky's current law.  A bill that would increase the height requirement to 57 inches and age standard to nine years old, passed the House Transportation Committee Tuesday.   Dr.

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11:57pm

Mon February 23, 2015
State Capitol

Legislation Related to Transgender Student Bathroom Use Passes on Surprise Second Attempt

Credit debate.org

    

After failing on the initial vote last week, legislation to require most public school students in Kentucky to use the bathroom of their biological sex  is now headed to the full Senate.   The measure was approved during a surprise vote Monday by the Senate Education Committee.

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10:42pm

Fri February 20, 2015
State Capitol

KY General Assembly Considering Ways to Shut Down Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

Credit courier-journal.com

A Bowling Green Senator wants to clarify Kentucky's stance on internet sweepstakes cafes.  The computer based businesses give away chances to win monetary prizes with the purchase of a service or product.  Senator Mike Wilson's legislation aims to shut down those trades.  "I do not even know that it exists because on the front of the building it says ‘Faxes and Copies,’ and you can get copies there, but they'll only give you three,” Wilson said.  “That's not what they are there for and it says ‘No One Under 21 Admitted’ and there's a little kind of sign to the side that says 'Better than B

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4:36pm

Fri February 20, 2015
State Capitol

Smoking Ban Fate Uncertain in Senate

Credit surfky.com

All eyes are on Kentucky’s state senators to see if they’ll move on the House’s proposed statewide smoking ban.

Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, has said he doesn’t see support for the bill in the upper chamber.

“If there is, and individuals want to vote on it and can get committee votes and want to get it to the floor it will move in the normal and ordinary course,” Stivers said.

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5:16pm

Thu February 19, 2015
State Capitol

State Debt Reduction Bill Goes to Full Senate for Third Time

Credit lrc.com

    

Legislation aimed at reducing Kentucky's debt is headed to the Senate floor.  The measure seeks to lower overall debt over time.

The bill limits general fund supported debt to 6 percent of general fund revenues.  Sponsor Joe Bowen told budget committee members  the state's current debt ratio is at 8.1 percent, including the state's participation in county courthouse construction borrowing. 

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5:14pm

Thu February 19, 2015
State Capitol

Bill to Prohibit Credit Card Purchase of State Lottery Tickets Passes Out of Committee

Credit publicgaming.com

Legislation before Kentucky lawmakers could impact the Kentucky Lottery's plan to offer online electronic ticket sales this fall.  A measure prohibiting the use of credit cards for such transactions cleared a senate committee Thursday.  Bill Sponsor Jimmy Higdon says the law also calls for establishing a pre-paid card program.  "If you're gonna buy that internet product, you first have to buy a pre-paid card from a lottery retailer,” said Higdon. “That's simply to protect the retailers from competition of the internet."

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10:16pm

Tue February 17, 2015
State Capitol

Legislation Could Open the Starting Gate to the Paint Horse Breed in Kentucky

Credit Jessica Hein / Paint Horse Journal/American Paint Horse Association

There's an effort underway to bring the paint horse breed into the racing mix in Kentucky.  Legislation to clear the way for paints to participate in sprint horse racing is making its way through the Kentucky General Assembly.  Rich Wilke is with the American Quarter Horse Association.  "This is the kind of racing that never goes more than a half a mile.  A thousand yards is the most they ever go, so that would be quarter horses predominantly, but also paints and appaloosas.  They are the other major sprint breeds," said Wilke.

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2:08pm

Sat February 14, 2015
State Capitol

KSU President Delivers Keynote at Capitol Black History Month Event

Credit kysu.edu

Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse presented the keynote address at this week's Black History Month Commemoration at the state capitol.

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2:04pm

Sat February 14, 2015
State Capitol

Senate Gives the Go Ahead for Lottery Game with Horse Racing Connections

Credit twitter.com

    The Kentucky Senate has approved legislation paving the way for development of a new state lottery game that has an equine connection.  Proponents say the game would benefit the horse industry and school children.

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5:02pm

Thu February 12, 2015
State Capitol

Advocates Rally at State Capitol for Economic, Social, and Environmental Issues

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Advocates for economic, environmental, and social issues in Appalachia braved windy, cold conditions at the state capitol Thursday.  The 10th 'I Love Mountains Day' event attracted a crowd on the capitol steps.

The annual February event always includes an emphasis on ending mountain top mining.  But this year's rally also focused on minimum wage, clean energy, and restoring voting rights for former felons.  Terri Blanton has championed these and other causes for decades. 

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4:56pm

Thu February 12, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky Senate Passes Ford Resolution

Credit congress.gov

The Kentucky Senate has adopted a resolution honoring former Kentucky Governor and U.S. Senator Wendell Ford.  The man known as 'Mr. Democrat' died last month at the age of 90 in his hometown of Owensboro.  For 33 years, State Senator Joe Bowen lived next door to the Ford family.  Bowen, a republican, says the neighborly conversation would sometimes turn to politics and even agreement on some matters.  "And when we didn't, we would have very lively conversations about that.  And it was entertaining for both of us.  There was an entertainment component of that," said Bowen.

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5:36pm

Wed February 11, 2015
State Capitol

House Heroin Bill Heads to the Floor

Credit cincinnati.com

The Kentucky House version of heroin legislation has cleared its first hurdle.  The full House could vote on the measure this Friday.

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5:30pm

Wed February 11, 2015
State Capitol

Measure to Address Abandoned Horse Problems Passes Out of Committee

Credit richardbealblog.com

The Kentucky General Assembly is considering legislation that would tackle problems associated with abandoned horses.  The House Agriculture and Small Business Committee approved a measure Wednesday to lower the required holding period for abandoned horses from three months to 10 days.  After that, the recovered horses could be handed over to a rescue group or new owner. 

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5:37pm

Tue February 10, 2015
State Capitol

Dating Violence Protections Sail Out of KY House Committee

Governor Beshear Speaks with Senate President Robert Stivers Before Ceremony
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    

With support from Kentucky's governor and legislative leaders in both chambers, the dating violence bill is heading to the House floor.  Final passage appears more likely than ever.

Efforts to extend civil protections to dating couples in Kentucky began some six legislative sessions ago.  Prior to the bill's first committee hearing, Governor Beshear predicted the measure would pass.  "For several sessions we have been discussing these protections, this session, we're gonna pass a bill," said Beshear.

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5:53pm

Mon February 9, 2015
State Capitol

House Heroin Bill Detailed

Credit kentucky.com

Lawmakers in the Kentucky House of Representatives have announced details of their own bill to combat the heroin epidemic in the state.  It varies from a measure passed by the state Senate in January.

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5:32pm

Mon February 9, 2015
State Capitol

Automotive Association Rep Says Industry Growth Remains in Supplying Sector

Dave Tatman with the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association
Credit Corvetteblogger.com

The head of a Kentucky automotive organization is working to clear up misconceptions about manufacturing professions. Dave Tatman, head of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, testified in Frankfort last week.

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5:01pm

Fri February 6, 2015
State Capitol

KY Senate Passes Charter School Legislation; Prospects in House Appear Dim

Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A measure approved in the state senate would allow for the creation of piloted charter schools in Kentucky's two largest cities.  The charter school bill is expected to run into heavier opposition in the House.

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4:51pm

Fri February 6, 2015
State Capitol

Leaders of Both Houses of Kentucky Legislature Confident About Heroin Bill

Credit thejointblog.com

Leaders of both houses of the Kentucky general assembly remain committed to passage of legislation to address heroin problems.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers appeared Thursday on WEKU's Eastern Standard program.  Both men are confident that a heroin bill will be passed this session.

Efforts to pass heroin legislation last spring fell apart at the end of the session.  Neither leader is saying when final approval might come during the current session.

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12:36am

Fri February 6, 2015
State Capitol

Senate Democrats and Republicans Debate Process on Floor

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Democrats in the Kentucky Senate sent a formal letter to the chamber’s president expressing concern about the pace of bill consideration.  Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones says the majority party’s method is not in line with a representative democracy.  "Since the republicans took control of the state senate, the process has been a fast track, railroad type process to moving legislation," said Jones.

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12:30am

Fri February 6, 2015
State Capitol

Bill to Exempt School Construction Projects from Prevailing Wage Sails Out of Senate Committee

Testimony included Comments from Tom Shelton with the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Legislation that would exempt officials with some Kentucky school construction projects from paying the prevailing wage easily cleared a senate committee Thursday.  Bill Sponsor Wil Schroder told members more work could be done for less money, without jeopardizing the quality of the project. 

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