State Capitol

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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12:44am

Sun April 13, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Budget Surplus Seen Less Likely

Credit courier-journal.com

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's general fund tax revenues increased 2.4 percent in March - enough to ward off a deficit but not enough to promise a surplus.

State Budget Director Jane Driskell announced the state collected $753.5 million in March, a $17.7 million increase from last year.

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11:52pm

Tue April 8, 2014
State Capitol

Former Kentucky Lawmaker John Arnold Cleared of Ethics Charges

Former Ky. Rep. John Arnold has been cleared of ethics charges
Credit Jonathan Meador / Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—A former state House lawmaker accused of sexually harassing and assaulting three female state employees has been cleared of the ethics charges they filed against him.

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10:53pm

Tue April 1, 2014
State Capitol

Decisions on State Road Projects Still to Come

Credit wkyufm.org

Decisions about three and a half billion dollars in road and bridge projects across Kentucky will wait for another day.

Lawmakers from the House and Senate spent many hours negotiating over the weekend before finally reaching agreement on a two year state budget.  But, consensus on a road plan remains on the 'to do' list.  

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7:03am

Tue April 1, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Legislators Approve Biennial Budget

Credit wfpl.org

Final passage of a 20 billion dollar state budget brought with it high praise, but also some expression of disappointment and frustration. 

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10:18pm

Thu March 27, 2014
State Capitol

Juvenile Justice Reforms Pass House

Credit gpb.com

The Kentucky House has passed the much-debated juvenile justice reform bill.  Proponents say it could lead to state savings of 25 million dollars over a five year period by reducing incarceration for "low level offenders".

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10:14pm

Thu March 27, 2014
State Capitol

House Speaker Says Budget Negotiations Could Extend Into Next Week

Credit bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

The end of session schedule for the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly, as often the case, is up in the air.  Leaders from both chambers are working to try to reach agreement on a two year budget. 

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10:08pm

Thu March 27, 2014
State Capitol

Senate Acts on Public-Private Partnership Measure

Credit lanereport.com

The Kentucky General Assembly is working to further public-private partnerships when it comes to large expensive projects.  Legislation to assist in local and state projects has been approved by the state senate.

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6:54am

Thu March 27, 2014
State Capitol

Heroin Bill Narrowly Passes Out of Committee

Credit oxywatchdog.com

A bill to raise penalties on heroin traffickers and provide new treatment options for opiate addicts has narrowly cleared a Kentucky House committee.  

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6:48am

Thu March 27, 2014
State Capitol

Multi Billion Dollar Road Plan Under Negotiation

Credit kentucky.com

The state senate's approach to building and maintaining roads and bridges across the Commonwealth is moving forward.  The transportation committee adopted the six-year road plan Wednesday.  Committee Chair Ernie Harris says the multi billion dollar transportation program contains no tax increases.

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6:45am

Thu March 27, 2014
State Capitol

Cannabis Oil Bill Passes in the House

Credit wdrb.com

A bill permitting the research and medicinal use of cannabis oil to treat neurological disorders has cleared the Kentucky House.  Families with ailing children gathered into the House chambers to witness the vote on the bill.

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7:22am

Wed March 26, 2014
State Capitol

Senate Budget Defunds ACA Effort in Kentucky

Credit kycountynews.com

The Kentucky Senate’s $20 billion budget proposal aims to defund the Affordable Care Act in the commonwealth, but its provisions won’t affect the program. 

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9:14pm

Tue March 25, 2014
State Capitol

Voting Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

Credit ajr.com

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Kentucky can now register to vote in confidentiality.  The Address Confidentiality Program is being implemented through the Secretary of State's Office.

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11:14pm

Mon March 24, 2014
State Capitol

Ky. Senate Passes Its Version of State Budget

Credit lanereport.com

The Kentucky Senate has now passed its version of a two year $20 billion budget.  The lengthy document will end up in a House-Senate Conference Committee where a key House leader expects successful passage this session.

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10:46pm

Wed March 19, 2014
State Capitol

Ky. Senate Passes Proposal to Shorten Legislative Sessions

Credit courier-journal.com

Legislation aimed at shortening Kentucky General Assembly sessions has easily passed the state's senate.  If approved by the full legislature, the constitutional amendment would require statewide voter approval before it could to go into effect. 

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10:43pm

Wed March 19, 2014
State Capitol

General Assembly Expected to Approve Lexington Room Tax Increase

Credit examiner.com

Lexington's legislative request for authority to raise the city transient room tax seems to face clear sailing in the Kentucky House, The backing comes as time winds down for the 2014 session of the General Assembly.

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10:39pm

Wed March 19, 2014
State Capitol

Tanning Bed Ban Falls Short in Senate Committee

Credit courier-journal.com

Legislation to ban most minors from Kentucky tanning beds has failed in committee.  The House-approved measure fell two votes shy of passage in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

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5:39pm

Tue March 18, 2014
State Capitol

Coal Incentives Passed by House Committee

Credit uky.edu

A state House panel has unanimously approved a bill to provide tax incentives to the ailing coal industry. House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins says his bill will permit tax breaks on machinery and manufacturing for coal-related companies.

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