State Capitol

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

11:53am

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

GOP Judge Enters Race for Congress

What’s expected to be a crowded race to replace Congressman Geoff Davis now has its first official candidate. Republican Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore filed his paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office today, the first candidate to do so. Two other Republicans, Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie and State Representative Alecia Webb-Edgington are also expected to file to run.

Read more

10:00am

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

State Budget is topic of KET's Kentucky Tonight

On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss the state budget.

Read more

5:37am

Mon January 23, 2012
State Capitol

Romney Files for Kentucky Primary

Kentucky’s presidential primary is months away and tends to serve little purpose in selecting a major party nominee. But that doesn’t mean the event is being ignored.  At least one presidential hopeful is in front of the pack in Kentucky: Mitt Romney. The Republican frontrunner is the only candidate to have filed to run in the state's primary so far.  Romney qualified for the ballot by showing he qualified in more than twenty other states, which is one of four ways Kentucky allows presidential ballot access

Read more

4:27pm

Fri January 20, 2012
State Capitol

Bright Spots in Budget Plan

Kentucky’s latest budget proposal appears to be all doom and gloom, but that’s not entirely the case.
Governor Steve Beshear did propose deep cuts to many state agencies in this year’s budget. But he also left some funds available for bright spots. Two appropriations Beshear made were for free colon cancer screenings for the uninsured and to create an adult abuse registry.

Read more

3:12pm

Fri January 20, 2012
State Capitol

Legislative and Judicial Lines Signed Into Law

 Governor Steve Beshear has signed new legislative and judicial districts into law, ending one part of Kentucky's redistricting fight.  There was pressure on the governor not to sign House Bill 1 because it leaves state Senator Kathy Stein of Lexington without a seat for two years.  In a statement, Beshear denounced the Senate’s decision to move Stein’s district, but he did not criticize the state House for any political lines it drew.

Read more

2:09pm

Fri January 20, 2012
State Capitol

New Congressional Boundaries on Hold

Kentucky’s congressional delegation will have to wait a little longer to find out who exactly they’ll represent this year.  Legislative leaders are trying to work out a compromise on new congressional redistricting maps, having already passed maps of their own districts and their own versions of the congressional map. The congressional map is currently in a conference committee, but the chambers adjourned today with no compromise in hand. The committee will meet again on Monday.

Read more

8:43am

Fri January 20, 2012
State Capitol

Former State Ag Commissioner Returns Some Equipment

Some of the Department of Agriculture’s unaccounted for state property has turned up, including equipment issued to former commissioner Richie Farmer.  It was previously reported that nearly $500,000 worth of state property was either missing or unaccounted for. This was partly blamed on poor record keeping by the department, but certain records showed Farmer still had several pieces of equipment, including laptop computers and GPS units.

Read more

8:41am

Fri January 20, 2012
State Capitol

State Ag Commissioner on Industrial Hemp

New Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made industrial hemp his first legislative priority.
Comer, a Republican, has enlisted the help of two Democratic representatives and one Democratic senator to file a bill to legalize the crop in each chamber. A former state representative himself, Comer says many myths about industrial hemp are starting to fade, and farmers are looking to it as a replacement for tobacco, which is waning.

Read more

5:45pm

Thu January 19, 2012
State Capitol

Potential Impact on Eastern

Officials with public universities around the state are trying to prepare for what is certain to be another cut in funding.  Such cuts may result in changes to staffing and student services. Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock has led the Richmond school through a number of funding cuts stretching back to 2007.  Governor Beshear is suggesting higher education support be reduced by six point four percent.  For E-K-U that would mean about four and a half million dollars.  Whitlock has implemented a hiring freeze and expects the workforce to be smaller next year.  The Eastern president is not anticipating layoffs, but does expect fewer employees through retirements and people leaving.  Whitlock says the size of classes could change.

Read more

Pages