State Capitol

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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5:08pm

Wed February 4, 2015
State Capitol

Expansion of Dog Fighting Legislation Clears Kentucky House Committee

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A bill that would expand Kentucky's current anti-dog fighting legislation is on its way to the House floor.  Committee discussion also included questions about cockfighting.

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5:05pm

Wed February 4, 2015
State Capitol

Senate Panel Hears from Groups in support of Freezing Kentucky’s Gas Tax

Local government and business representatives testify before Senate Committee
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Concerns about Kentucky's dwindling gas tax got a full review during a senate legislative committee Wednesday.  The major worry from state lawmakers and local government leaders is how the drop in revenue effects the commonwealth’s road construction and maintenance fund. 

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9:05pm

Tue February 3, 2015
State Capitol

Ignition Interlock Legislation Filed for 6th Time in State Legislature

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    

For the sixth time, supporters of a bill calling for ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders will work for approval in the Kentucky General Assembly. 

Advocates say education and awareness of the device's benefits could rule the day this session.

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4:41pm

Mon February 2, 2015
State Capitol

Kentucky League of Cities Carries a Full Agenda to Frankfort This Week

Credit klc.org

The Kentucky League of Cities is heading to Frankfort this week with a full legislative agenda. Near the top are two long standing issues: stabilization of funding for emergency 9-1-1 services, and giving cities the option of pursuing a local sales tax. 

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4:45pm

Thu January 29, 2015
State Capitol

Thousands of School Basketball Fans Lend a Boost to Capital City Tourism

Credit kentucky.com

The All 'A' Classic high school basketball tournament is in Frankfort this week.  Games for both boys and girls teams run through the weekend at the downtown convention center.  Tourist and Convention Commission Director Joy Jeffries says the city is expected to see almost a $1.5 million economic impact. "As the tournament progresses there's less and less games during the day, so they've got a little more time,” said Jeffries. “Or, they can take a run out and check something out.  Jeffries says man of the city’s attractions are in close proximity to the convention center.

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5:46pm

Mon January 26, 2015
State Capitol

Former Governors Believe Higher Political Aspirations Still Ahead for Grimes

Credit kentucky.com

    

Two former Kentucky governors say future opportunities for Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to seek higher office remain strong.  Julian Carrol and Martha Layne Collins had front row seats Monday for Grimes' announcement in Lexington.

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11:28pm

Sun January 25, 2015
State Capitol

Transportation Advocacy Group Supports Freezing Gas Tax

Credit kbtnet.org

When they return to work next week, Kentucky lawmakers are expected to consider ways to stem a drop in state gas tax monies.  Significant declines in the price per gallon at the pump have led to a loss of revenue to maintain and build roads. 

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3:45pm

Fri January 16, 2015

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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