State Capitol

4:25pm

Mon January 12, 2015
State Capitol

Lawmakers: More Get-a-Long Than Bickering During the Beshear Administration

Credit en.wikipedia.org

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has repeatedly said he and the legislature demonstrate the ability to get along and be productive.  That point was driven home again last week in the governor's State of the Commonwealth Address.

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9:56am

Mon January 12, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky Lawmakers Undergo Mandatory Ethics Training

Credit omigovernment.wordpress.com

    

A veteran Kentucky lawmaker says last week's mandatory ethics training carried an impactful message.  The workshop took place as questions remain about sexual harassment allegations within the Kentucky legislature.

Civil lawsuits filed by three women in two separate cases allege sexual harassment by a former state lawmaker and a current representative.  Both men have denied any wrongdoing.  The issue was first brought to light publicly by Louisville Representative Tom Riner during a floor speech in 2013.

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10:24pm

Thu January 8, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky Senate Adopts Comprehensive Heroin Legislation

Credit kyhealthnews.blogspot.com

The Kentucky Senate has adopted far reaching legislation to tackle the state's heroin-related problems.  It's unusual to see action on the floor of the first week of the so-called short session.  Among other things, the bill calls for allowing first responders access to a drug designed to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. 

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10:16pm

Thu January 8, 2015
State Capitol

Right-to-Work Measure Wins Senate Approval

Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    

So called "right-to-work" legislation has emerged from the Republican-led Kentucky Senate.  The measure will likely run into heavy opposition in the Democratic-controlled House.

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12:05pm

Thu January 8, 2015
State Capitol

Hopkinsville's Whitney Westerfield May Run For Attorney General

Credit facebook.com

 

Kentucky State Senator Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville might put his name in the currently unopposed race for Kentucky Attorney General. Westerfield said he doesn’t want current candidate Andy Beshear to be Kentucky’s only option.

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12:53am

Thu January 8, 2015
State Capitol

Leaders of Both Legislative Chambers Offer Favorable Assessment of Governor's Time in Office

From left to right House Speaker Greg Stumbo-Senate President Robert Stivers
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Governor Steve Beshear Wednesday night delivered his final State of the Commonwealth address.  House and Senate leaders offered positive comments regarding Beshear's tenure.  

Governor Beshear's eighth State of the Commonwealth Speech ran a little over an hour and was interrupted by applause from legislators more than 35 times.  Beshear spoke about leading Kentucky through a historic recession, as well as achievements in education, and insuring Kentuckians through the state's health care exchange.

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1:49pm

Wed January 7, 2015
State Capitol

Possible Fix For Kentucky’s No-Jail Jailers: Cutting Their Pay

Credit wfpl.org

Top Kentucky elected officials say a measure could remedy the costly issue of elected county jailers who have no jails to run—slashing their pay scales.

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10:50pm

Tue January 6, 2015
State Capitol

Advocates Rally for Heroin Legislation

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    Families who've lost loved ones to heroin addiction were among the attendees Tuesday for the opening of the 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Governor Steve Beshear assured them something will be done to address the state's drug epidemic.

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4:12pm

Tue January 6, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky 2015 Legislature Opens

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

The 2015 Kentucky General Assembly session is off and running.  As  is tradition, the first day included a great deal of ceremony.

The Kentucky House and Senate traditionally open the session at high noon.  The primary focus of this first week is to formalize leadership in both chambers.  But, the first day also included a brass rendition of the national anthem, an acoustic version of My Old Kentucky Home, and a visit by the Supreme Court Chief Justice to both houses of the legislature.

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5:02pm

Mon January 5, 2015
State Capitol

No Push for Casinos Expected in Short Session

Credit courier-journal.com

The issue of expanded gambling has been on Governor Steve Beshear's radar throughout his time in office.  The 2015 legislative session could very well be his last chance to see such a measure adopted. 

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4:55pm

Mon January 5, 2015
State Capitol

Veteran House GOP Leader Faces Opposition

Credit kentucky.com

During this week of January, Kentucky lawmakers will select their party leaders in Frankfort.  Some posts will see little change but house republicans will have a decision to make. Northern Kentucky Rep Adam Koenig is challenging Majority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover for his position.  "You know I appreciate representative Hoover’s 14 years of service, but he's had 14 years and it's time for some new ideas and new energy," said Koenig.

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3:57pm

Sun December 21, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky House Leaders Get Behind Local Sales Tax Option

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

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.   

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3:38pm

Mon December 1, 2014
State Capitol

GOP Rep. Ryan Quarles to Run for Agriculture Commissioner

KY. State Congressman Ryan Quarles
Credit Lexington Herald Leader

A three-term Republican state lawmaker says he will seek the Republican nomination for state Agriculture Commissioner.

 

 

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9:57pm

Sun November 16, 2014
State Capitol

Legislative Committee Briefed on Hemp Research Plans for 2015

Credit dailyherald.com

    

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.

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10:32pm

Sun November 9, 2014
State Capitol

Dating Violence Bill Undergoes Rewrite

Credit domestic-violence.laws.com

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.

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1:59pm

Thu November 6, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor to Resign for Washington Job

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor is resigning his state government position to make a move to Washington.  His replacement is someone with a great deal of experience in Frankfort.

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4:28pm

Thu October 23, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Lawmaker Indicted on Bribery Related Charge

Credit Legislative Research Commission

A federal grand jury has indicted an eastern Kentucky lawmaker. Phelps Representative Keith Hall is charged with paying bribes to a mine reclamation inspector to ignore violations.

The London grand jury named Hall and former state mine reclamation inspector Kelly Shortridge in an alleged scheme to ensure Hall's mines passed inspection.

The indictment states Hall and Shortridge set up a shell company, DKJ Consulting. Prosecutors say Hall then used a company he owned, S&K Properties, to funnel money to Shortridge.

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4:47pm

Tue October 14, 2014
State Capitol

Southern Lawmakers Coming to Lexington in Summer 2016

Credit secured.csg.org

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.  

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3:39pm

Mon October 13, 2014
State Capitol

State's New Automated Collection System On Line

Credit taxrate.com

Officials with the Kentucky Department of Revenue hope a new automated collection system will help the state efficiently collect delinquent taxes. The new $20 million system went on-line this fall. 

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4:01pm

Wed September 24, 2014
State Capitol

State Prison Officials: Starvation Prompted Changes

Credit richmondconnected.com

Kentucky prison officials say multiple changes have been made in the wake of an inmate's starvation and dehydration death at the Kentucky State Penitentiary earlier this year.

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5:50pm

Mon September 15, 2014
State Capitol

Former State Worker Fined for Mistreating Women

Credit klec.ky.gov

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has finished its investigation into the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, fining a former assistant director on Monday for mistreating women.


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4:57pm

Mon July 28, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky Treasurer Says Suspicious Mail Making Rounds

Credit practicalwaystosavemoney.com

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.

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4:19pm

Thu July 17, 2014
State Capitol

State Revenue Shortfall Worries Business Sector

Steps are being taken to deal with a 90 million dollar state revenue shortfall.  Governor Steve Beshear announced a budget reduction plan Wednesday. 

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4:40pm

Thu June 12, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky To Receive Over $100 Million in Tobacco Settlement

Credit bizjournals.com

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.

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3:18pm

Thu June 12, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky State Police Reopen Investigation of Former LRC Director's Document Shredding

Credit wfpl.org

Kentucky State Police has reopened its investigation into the document shredding by former Legislative Research Commission executive director Bobby Sherman.

The Courier-Journal reported Wednesday that there will be a new probe into Sherman's shredding of work documents.

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10:44pm

Thu June 5, 2014
State Capitol

Lexington Prosecutor Believes Sentencing Changes Fall Short

Credit archive.courier-journal.com

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. 

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10:21pm

Tue June 3, 2014
State Capitol

Kentucky City Takes Retirement System to Court

Credit examiner.com

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. 

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3:21pm

Fri May 30, 2014
State Capitol

Who Spent the Most Lobbying Ky General Assembly In 2014 Session?

Credit kentuckytourism.com

Lobbyists spent $8.7 million to lobby Kentucky lawmakers this year—and tobacco giant Altria led the pack at $156,000, According to records released by the Legislative Ethics Commission this week.

Some have pointed to the tobacco lobby's heavy spending during the 2014 session as a major contributing factor in the defeat of a statewide smoking ban.

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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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