State Capitol

9:48am

Wed February 1, 2012
State Capitol

Prosecutors Warn of Layoffs

The state's prosecutors warned lawmakers Tuesday that they will have to lay off or furlough workers under Gov. Steve Beshear's proposed two-year state budget. "We've got two options — layoffs or furloughs," said Chris Cohron, the commonwealth's attorney for Warren County and legislative chair for the state's commonwealth's attorney association.

8:20am

Wed February 1, 2012
State Capitol

Kentucky A-G Wants Funding Restored

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway would like see lawmakers increase funding for his agency by about four million dollars more than what’s recommended by the governor.  The A-G appeared before the House Budget Subcommittee Tuesday.  Conway asked members of the legislative panel to consider restoring funding to the 14 million dollars allocated in 2008.  If the governor’s plan is passed, Conway says layoffs are possible.

Read more

5:30am

Wed February 1, 2012
State Capitol

Lexington Senator Reacts to Court Ruling

 Kentucky Senator Kathy Stein is celebrating a judge's decision to delay the filing deadline for candidates for the General Assembly.  Stein was drawn out of her Lexington district when the Senate drafted new maps to reflect changes in population. She filed suit, arguing the new maps are unconstitutional.  Today , a judge delayed the deadline for candidates to file so he can further review the case. Stein agrees the issue deserves more study.

Read more

5:14am

Wed February 1, 2012
State Capitol

Filing Deadline Pushed Back

A Franklin Circuit Court judge has pushed back the filling deadline for state legislative candidates.
In response to a lawsuit claiming the new redistricting maps are unconstitutional, Judge Phillip Shepherd issued a restraining order moving the deadline back one week. Shepherd also set a hearing on the constitutionality argument for Monday morning.

Read more

2:59pm

Tue January 31, 2012
State Capitol

WEKU News on Twitter

Get the news updates from the state capitol and from around the Commonwealth by following WEKU News on Twitter.

Read more

2:20pm

Tue January 31, 2012
State Capitol

Explaining the Budget's Haves and Have-Nots

While most of state agencies face spending cuts of more than eight-percent, the governor wants to spend more on the Kentucky Horse Park and the State Fair Board in the current year.  State Budget Director Mary Lassiter today explained their reasons to the Senate Budget Committee. Lassiter was quizzed by Lebanon Senator Jimmy Higdon, who asked her about the nine-million dollar spending increase.

Read more

2:06pm

Tue January 31, 2012
State Capitol

Eastern Kentucky Veteran Retires from Senate

Redistricting in the Kentucky Senate has claimed another Democrat: Walter Blevins. The outspoken but soft-spoken senator will not seek re-election in the district he's been drawn into with Republican Senator Robert Stivers. “This is my 31st year," Blevins says. "It’s just time to try something different. Look at my options, see what I’ve got. Of course I’ve also been through cancer this past year and married to a lovely wife and I want to spend time with her.”

Read more

11:19am

Tue January 31, 2012
State Capitol

Tax Reforms Back on Table in Frankfort

As the wheels slowly turn on Governor Steve Beshear’s tax commission, observers are wondering what changed the governor’s mind on taxes in the first place. All last year the governor said he wasn’t in favor of changing the tax code during a recession, while his opponent David Williams constantly advocated for it. But after his re-election, the governor created a new commission to study the issue. Beshear says it wasn’t a change at all.

Read more

12:00am

Mon January 30, 2012
State Capitol

Congressional Redistricting Progresses

After two weeks of no movement, legislative leaders are hopeful they’ll reach a compromise on Congressional redistricting soon. That hope is the reason they’re giving for extending the filing deadline until February 7th, as the General Assembly did last week. State Senator Damon Thayer says so far, the problem has been wildly different approaches to drawing new maps.

Read more

12:00am

Mon January 30, 2012
State Capitol

Pseudoephedrine Debate Gets Personal

The debate over how to regulate pseudoephedrine is becoming more polarized. Lawmakers are wrestling with the idea of whether to make the drug, known as PSE, available by prescription only. Law enforcement supports that idea, while health care and citizen groups don’t. The debate has led one state Senator to dial back his leadership on the issue due to personal attacks. But Senator Tom Jensen says he’s going to continue to advocate to make PSE prescription only.

Read more

3:49pm

Fri January 27, 2012
State Capitol

Judge Lets State Withhold Abuse Details

An appeals court judge has granted an emergency request by a state agency to temporarily withhold more details from records it must release on children killed or hurt as a result of abuse or neglect. The order by Chief Court of Appeals Judge Jeff Taylor came minutes before a noon deadline Friday for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to release at least 1,000 pages of child abuse records that contained only limited redactions. Instead, the cabinet began providing documents that were expected to exclude a broader range of information about Kentucky children who were killed or severely hurt during 2009 and 2010.

2:45pm

Fri January 27, 2012
State Capitol

Republicans Challenge House with Lawsuit

Rep. Jeff Hoover

A Frankfort legislator says he expects the House’s redistricting map will be declared unconstitutional while another says the process itself needs to be revised. House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover and others filed a lawsuit challenging the House’s redistricting map in Franklin Circuit Court Thursday. The suit seeks an injunction to delay implementing the redistricting plan and postponing Tuesday’s election filing deadline until the matter is resolved. It says the Democratic House’s map of new legislative districts is unconstitutional because it divides too many counties, places some counties in noncontiguous districts and puts some Republicans in districts with higher populations than their Democratic counterparts.

12:35pm

Fri January 27, 2012
State Capitol

Senate Democrats Consider Redistricting Lawsuits

House Republicans aren’t the only members of the General Assembly looking to sue over new redistricting lines. Democratic state Senator Kathy Stein says she and many of her Lexington supporters are strongly considering getting involved as well. A handful of House Republicans filed a lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court today challenging the House redistricting map. Stein says she is likely to join those Republicans.

Read more

12:27pm

Fri January 27, 2012
State Capitol

Lawmakers Study Capital Punishment System

Kentucky’s attempts to execute a Cincinnati man who abducted, raped and killed a manager of the now defunct Barleycorn’s Yacht Club in Newport faces a new hurdle. Lawmakers want time to look at a two-year study of the state’s capital punishment system by the American Bar Association. The study, presented to members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday in Frankfort, found state or federal courts overturned the sentences or convictions of 50 of the 78 people sent to death row since the 1976.

3:16pm

Thu January 26, 2012
State Capitol

Republicans File Lawsuit Over Redistricting

Several Kentucky House Republican shave followed through on their threats to file a legal challenge to new legislative district lines. The Republicans filed the lawsuit and request for an injunction in Franklin County Circuit Court today. And because of the injunction request, they will go before Judge Phillip Sheppard on Monday morning.

Read more

2:37pm

Thu January 26, 2012
State Capitol

Lawsuit Challenges Redistricting Plan

House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover filed a lawsuit Thursday in Franklin Circuit Court to challenge redrawing of state legislative election districts. Hoover, R-Jamestown, was accompanied by Louisville attorney Jason Nemes, who filed a request for a temporary injunction to delay the Jan. 31 filing deadline for candidates. Hoover said Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd will hold a hearing at 10:30 a.m. Monday on the request for an injunction.

5:53pm

Wed January 25, 2012
State Capitol

Boost for Gaming Amendment

Governor Steve Beshear’s proposal for a constitutional amendment to expand gaming could get a big boost soon. State Senator Damon Thayer, a Republican, says it’s very likely he will sponsor Beshear’s amendment this session. Thayer has been working with Beshear on the gambling issue this session, giving the amendment leverage it hasn’t had before.

Read more

5:47pm

Wed January 25, 2012
State Capitol

Discussion of Eliminating State Treasurer

A measure to eliminate the office of the Kentucky Treasurer is working its way through the General Assembly again. Republicans and third party candidates have discussed eliminating the constitutional office for more than four years. GOP Senator Damon Thayer got a constitutional amendment doing so passed out of his chamber in 2008, but the measure later died.

Read more

5:41pm

Wed January 25, 2012
State Capitol

Safety Measure for Buggies Passed

A proposal to allow more safety options for religious groups that operate buggies is making its way through the General Assembly. Senate Bill 75 unanimously passed committee today. It allows for one-inch reflective tape to be placed on buggies instead of a state-mandated reflective triangle. The change comes after many Amish in western Kentucky have been sent to jail for refusing to place the triangles on their buggies. State Senator Ken Winters, the bill sponsor, says the legislature must look out for the safety of everyone on the road.

Read more

2:41pm

Wed January 25, 2012
State Capitol

State Treasurer's Fate Debated, Undecided

A measure to eliminate the office of the Kentucky Treasurer is working its way through the General Assembly again. Republicans and third party candidates have discussed eliminating the constitutional office for more than four years. GOP Senator Damon Thayer got a constitutional amendment doing so passed out of his chamber in 2008, but the measure later died.

Read more

1:20pm

Wed January 25, 2012
State Capitol

Compromise Over Amish Buggies Sought

A proposal to allow more safety options for religious groups that operate buggies is making its way through the General Assembly. Senate Bill 75 unanimously passed committee today. It allows for one-inch reflective tape to be placed on buggies instead of a state-mandated reflective triangle.

Read more

2:47pm

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Beshear Reacts to Redistricting Plan

Despite the controversial outcome of a process to redraw state legislative districts, Governor Steve Beshear is hopeful that lawmakers will be able to work together on other important issues. Beshear signed House Bill 1 into law on Friday. The redistricting plan, which is required every ten years to account for population changes, moved Sen. Kathy Stein's district out of Lexington to northeastern Kentucky and moved Sen. Dorsey Ridley from western Kentucky to Lexington.

Read more

2:28pm

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Negotiations Stall Over Districts

Chris Ware/The Herald-Leader

Negotiations between the state House and Senate have stalled over the redrawing of Kentucky's six congressional districts. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday that a federal judge could end up redrawing lines for the state's congression al districts if lawmakers fail to reach a compromise. The Prestonsburg Democrat didn't seem troubled by that prospect in a state where Republicans hold four of the state's six congressional seats.

9:56am

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Charter School Boosters Smell Opportunity

Sensing their time is coming, advocates of charter schools in Kentucky are doubling down on their efforts. One such group, Kentuckians for Reform in Education, or KARE, is out with their second TV advertisement supporting charter schools. KARE is run by former Louisville mayoral candidate Hal Heiner, and the ad is running statewide on network and cable TV. It follows an advertising pushfrom the beginning of this month. 

Read more

7:24am

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Lawmakers Take on Budget Task

Most every lawmaker in Frankfort anticipates a very difficult task in molding a two year budget this session.  Senators and Representatives are now digesting Governor Beshear’s budget suggestions.  Senate Budget Committee Chair, Bob Leeper says the governor proposes cuts and spending more money.  “It’s going to be interesting to see how the folks that are taking the cuts in various areas are gonna feel about additional money going some place else.. I think there was hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cuts…and hundreds of millions of dollars in new programs…so it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” said Leeper.

Read more

7:01am

Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Worries of Small Kentucky Pharmacies

For only the second time in its history, a Kentucky legislative committee will issue subpoenas...This time over Medicaid managed care and locally-owned pharmacies. The Program Review and Investigations Committee voted today to authorize subpoenas to Kentucky’s three new managed care providers over reimbursement rates to independent pharmacies. Passport, based in Louisville, is exempt from the subpoena.

Read more

10:13pm

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

Attorney General Requests Information From Zappos

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is joining nine other state attorneys general in requesting information from the online retailer Zappos regarding a recent data breach. Last week, Zappos was hacked. Millions of customers’ names, addresses and partial credit card numbers were released.

Read more

10:09pm

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

Congressional Redistricting Talks Break Down

Talks have broken down over new Congressional redistricting lines, Kentucky lawmakers say. A conference committee tasked with reach a compromise on new federal districts had no discussions over the weekend or today. And House Speaker Greg Stumbo says both the House and Senate are blaming each other for the lack of progress.

Read more

10:03pm

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

Lawmakers Issue Rare Subpoenas

For only the second time in its history, a Kentucky legislative committee will issue subpoenas...This time over Medicaid managed care and locally-owned pharmacies. The Program Review and Investigations Committee voted today to authorize subpoenas to Kentucky’s three new managed care providers over reimbursement rates to independent pharmacies. Passport, based in Louisville, is exempt from the subpoena.

Read more

2:35pm

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

Higher Drop-Out Ages Likely

After years of trying, a proposal to raise Kentucky’s school dropout age could be on track to becoming law. The measure is a key part of Governor Steve Beshear’s legislative agenda. But every year it has died in the state Senate as critics say the bill isn’t enough to help uninterested students.

Read more

Pages