In his inauguration speech, Gov. Steve Beshear spoke about education and the importance of building a generation that can lead Kentucky in the future. But it was a far cry from the pro-coal rhetoric that dominated some of his speeches earlier this year. Beshear’s avoidance of the issue didn’t surprise many observers, who know where the governor stands on coal.
State representatives Derrick Graham and Carl Rollins believe there’s support for a constitutional amendment on expanded gaming, but Sen. Julian Carroll says any proposal must be vetted before there’s a vote. That’s in response to Gov. Steve Beshear’s inaugural address, in which he called on leaders to “find the political courage and the will to lay the foundation” for the future before saying he’ll again push for a constitutional amendment on expanded gambling. Beshear shared broad plans for his second term during his 20-minute inaugural address Tuesday, mentioning job creation, education, gambling and restructuring the state’s tax code when the recession ends.
A proposed bill that would abolish the elected office of constable awaits lawmakers when they return to Frankfort next month. Sen. Julie Denton, R-Jefferson County, pre-filed BR 449, which, if passed, would ask voters to amend Kentucky’s constitution and do away with constables. Constables are county peace officers who are elected every four years the same as other county officials such as judge/executive, clerk, county attorney, sheriff, jailer, coroner, and surveyor. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Association of Counties supports legislation that might remove constables' duties and arrest powers
Inauguration day at the state capital can be a long day for state officials. But, it’s the governor who has the longest day. Steve Beshear was officially sworn in for his second term just after midnight. After a little rest, the governor then participates in everything from an early morning worship service to an evening ball.
Critics of Kentucky’s child welfare system say the recent release of over 80 child abuse records by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is just the beginning. The child welfare system was at its best when the Cabinet for Families and Children was separate from the Cabinet for Health Services, said Anita Barbee, professor at University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work. She has also consulted with the cabinet for 20 years.
By KPA News Content Service & Kentucky Educational Television
FRANKFORT - Ignoring overcast skies and chilly temperatures, Gov. Steve Beshear shared his vision for tomorrow with Kentuckians during his inaugural speech Tuesday afternoon on the Capitol’s steps. Beshear became only the second Kentucky governor in modern times to serve consecutive terms. Paul Patton was the first.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will introduce a constitutional amendment on expanded gaming during the 2012 General Assembly. The governor told reporters an amendment is a better option than changing state law through the legislature, which convenes in January.
When Gov. Steve Beshear is sworn in Tuesday to his second term as Kentucky’s highest state official, he will embrace many of Kentucky's historic and colorful inaugural traditions. Beshear has pledged Kentucky’s 59th Inauguration will be economical – thanks to many cost-savings measures – but the all-day celebration will still feature many inaugural customs that have become synonymous with the event over the past 219 years.
Fiscal Court has passed an ordinance 5-2 that permits Buffalo Trace and other local distilleries to hand out samples and sell packaged liquor on Sundays.It passed after a heated discussion at Thursday’s work session, which the court was forced to move to the courtroom after nearly 30 showed up in support or opposition. Jason Underwood, a lobbyist for Buffalo Trace, said the ordinance was proposed to help Buffalo Trace “level the playing field” with other nearby distilleries.
For the 51st year in a row, the Kentucky Human Rights Commission has heard more complaints about racial discrimination than any other issue. The commission handles cases of discrimination for any protected class in Kentucky. That includes race, gender, age, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion and smoking status. The panel released its annual report of filings this week (read it here). It covers any complaints sent to the panel between July of last year and July of this year.
Kentucky Secretary of State-elect Alison Lundergan Grimes announced her transition team on Friday as she prepares to take office in January. The Lexington attorney easily defeated Todd County businessman Bill Johnson by a 21-point margin, keeping the statewide office in the Democratic Party column. Grimes appointed former state Rep. Tim Firkins, D-Louisville, to chair the group, which will be organized into six working teams.
A Frankfort man charged with stealing flat screen TVs from stores in three counties was arrested Wednesday. A tip led the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to arrest Seth Witherby, 34, for shoplifting in Anderson, Scott and Franklin counties, Sheriff Pat Melton says. His accomplice is still at large. “They were going into department stores, and walking out the front door with flat screen TVs,” Melton said.
A cannon shot from the Kentucky Military History Museum will officially kick off the inaugural parade for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in downtown Frankfort. More than 4,150 parade participants, including 54 high school marching bands, will travel up Capital Avenue toward the Capitol where Gov. Beshear will take the oath of office at 2 p.m. for his second term as the state’s 61st governor.
A suspension of all executions in Kentucky was the recommendation in a report released today by the American Bar Association. A special panel spent two years reviewing capital punishment in the Commonwealth and uncovered a number of concerns. The 400-plus page report has been handed over to the governor and attorney general for review.
Government officials in Kentucky are facing mounting pressure to consider a moratorium on the state's death penalty. An American Bar Association report calling for a halt to executions now has the backing of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Inauguration ceremonies for Governor Steve Beshear and Lt. Governor-elect Jerry Abramson are less than a week away and organizers are making final preparations. Bob Stewart, Executive Director of the 2011 Inaugural Committee, says work has shifted from planning to execution.
The American Bar Association is asking Kentucky to temporarily suspend executions, citing errors and inconsistencies in how the state deals with cases involving capital punishment. In a two-year study released today, the ABA’s Kentucky Assessment Team on the Death Penalty found that of the last 78 inmates sentenced to death in Kentucky, 50 had their sentences overturned on appeals, and 10 were represented by a defense attorney who was later disbarred. The team also found that once a person is incarcerated, police are no longer required to keep evidence in the case, which has prevented post-conviction DNA testing for a number of death row inmates because of missing evidence.
Outgoing Kentucky Secretary of State Elaine Walker will become the commissioner of the parks department when she leaves office later this month. Walker was appointed as the commonwealth’s chief election officer by Governor Steve Beshear in January 2011 to replace Trey Grayson, who took a post at Harvard University before the end of his term. Walker sought to retain the office, but was beaten by fellow Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the May primary.
People can travel to the far reaches of the globe and not see and experience what you can discover in Kentucky. There’s only one Mammoth Cave, one Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, one National Corvette Museum, one Kentucky Horse Park. Kentucky’s wealth of unique attractions forms the basis of the state’s 2012 travel and tourism marketing campaign. The new campaign, called “There’s Only One,” will differentiate Kentucky from other destinations by emphasizing places and things travelers to and within the Commonwealth can experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
FRANKFORT – State employees who work in the Frankfort Capital Plaza Tower or in Fountain Plaza Shops should not report to work today as the building will be closed.A transformer failed overnight, shutting off power to the building. Repairs are underway.
More than a half-century after the last Civil War veterans died, a chapter in Kentucky law still offers a $50-a-month pension to any veteran who can prove service in the Confederate Army. State Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, pre-filed a bill to repeal Kentucky Revised Statutes chapter 206 on Confederate pensions. "There's so much stuff in the law that's a waste, that needs to be repealed." Koenig said.
Bowling Green’s state senator, Republican Mike Wilson, told the Daily News on Friday he’s still not optimistic that expanded gambling will become reality in Kentucky. Wilson’s comments came after Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday that he’s ready to raise the issue again in the General Assembly. Expanded gambling failed to move past the state Senate during Beshear’s first term.
Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services has released its annual report on child abuse fatalities, which show fewer fatalities this year when compared to previous years’ data. But it may be difficult for lawmakers to use this information in comparison, said Terry Brooks is executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
An Ohio contractor has been awarded a $1.3 million contract to finish painting downtown Frankfort's Singing Bridge, according to the state Transportation Cabinet. The bridge, which dates back to the 1890s, crosses the Kentucky River. The bridge has a metal mesh floor which causes tires on vehicles to make a sing-song noise - hence the name Singing Bridge.
The county office of constable is under review in Frankfort. It’s not the first time an effort has been made to do away with constables or their duties. The office of constable was established in the 1850 constitution. Today there are more than 500 constables in magisterial districts across the state. The primary push to legislatively strip away their duties comes from the Kentucky Association of Counties.
The Energy and Environment Cabinet is accepting grant proposals for projects that promote the use of recycled waste tires for athletic fields, playgrounds and other crumb-rubber applications. The cabinet will also consider funding research and development proposals for experimental practices or technologies that further the statutory purposes of the waste tire program - to protect human health, safety and the environment - or that will help develop a market for Kentucky waste tires. About $300,000 is available this grant cycle.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has reiterated GOP lawmakers’ support for extending the payroll tax cut for another year, but Kentucky’s senior Senator says his party will oppose any hikes on wealthier Americans.
State officials have 10 days to produce 90 internal reviews of social workers' files on children who have been killed or nearly killed as a result of abuse and neglect, a judge ordered Wednesday. Attorneys for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services told Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Wednesday that they were hiring temporary staff to redact more than 180 case files involving children who died or nearly died of abuse and neglect. Once redacted, those records will be made available, said Christina Heavrin, general counsel for the cabinet, which oversees child protection.