State Capitol

10:39am

Sun December 4, 2011
State Capitol

State Senator Says Expanded Gambling Bill's Passage Unlikely

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.

Read more

4:02pm

Fri December 2, 2011
State Capitol

Kentucky’s Child Welfare Cabinet Reports Fewer Child Fatalities

 

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.

Read more

12:57pm

Fri December 2, 2011
State Capitol

Painting Resumes on Historic Bridge

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.

5:24pm

Thu December 1, 2011
State Capitol

The Future of Constables

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.

Read more

3:10pm

Thu December 1, 2011
State Capitol

Grants Available to Develop Waste Tire Market

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.

Read more

2:30pm

Wed November 30, 2011
State Capitol

McConnell Supports Extending Payroll Tax Cuts

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.

Read more

2:27pm

Wed November 30, 2011
State Capitol

Judge Orders State to Release Child-Death Records

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.

Read more

2:18pm

Wed November 30, 2011
State Capitol

Two Percent Spending Cuts for State Agencies

Most state agencies will cut spending by an additional 2 percent as part of Gov. Steve Beshear’s plan to cover a $190 million hole in the current budget. The plan doesn’t include employee furloughs, but programs may opt to lay off workers, state Budget Director Mary Lassiter told the joint Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday. “Every agency will have to evaluate its capacity to deal with these additional cuts,” Lassiter said.

Read more

2:01pm

Wed November 30, 2011
State Capitol

Judge Orders State to Release Child-Death Records

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.

Read more

9:59am

Wed November 30, 2011
State Capitol

Sen. Ridley Predicts Vote on Expanding Gaming

The Nov. 8 election may have done more than dash Senate President David Williams' hopes for the Governor's Mansion, according to state Sen. Dorsey Ridley, it may have also unclogged the major obstacle to a full Senate vote on expanded gaming in Kentucky. Past legislative sessions have seen expanded gaming proposals bottled up by Williams' opposition, but his defeat by Gov. Steve Beshear has diminished his power, Ridley told Henderson Lions Club on Tuesday.

Read more

5:05pm

Tue November 29, 2011
State Capitol

Cuts to State Spending

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is ordering most state agencies to cut their budgets by two percent for the current fiscal year, but that will not be enough to close a $190 million budget shortfall. The decision was announced by State Budget Director Mary Lassiter at a joint budget committee meeting Tuesday. The plan will not include furloughs for state employees as the governor previously ordered, but it could mean agencies deciding to laying off workers.

Read more

4:55pm

Tue November 29, 2011
State Capitol

Beshear Orders Release of State Records

After multiple lawsuits and key lawmakers' repeated calls for more transparency, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Tuesday that he will release state records of children who have been killed or nearly killed as a result of abuse or neglect. The Lexington Herald-Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal had sued the state over the records of children who died while under supervision of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which oversees child protection. In another case, the Todd County Standard sued the cabinet over the records involving Amy Dye, a 9-year-old girl who was beaten to death in February by her adoptive brother.

3:03pm

Tue November 29, 2011
State Capitol

Tree Tradition Broken in Tough Economy

In a tough economy, Kentucky will avoid even the minimal cost of hauling in an official Christmas tree, opting instead to decorate an evergreen growing on the Capitol’s front lawn. Finance Cabinet spokeswoman Cindy Landham said Monday that Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration opted not to follow the traditional route of issuing a public request for a donated tree that state workers typically load aboard a truck and haul to Frankfort. The move is drawing kudos from environmentalists, including leaders of the forest protection group Heartwood that has a strong contingent in Kentucky.

8:08pm

Fri November 25, 2011
State Capitol

Effectiveness of Meth Bill Proposal Questioned

 

A new bill that has been pre-filed in the Kentucky legislature for next year would block convicted methamphetamine offenders from buying key meth ingredients without a prescription, but not everyone is convinced the proposed law would be effective.

Read more

3:03pm

Tue November 22, 2011
State Capitol

Further Restrictions on Meth Makers Considered

Kentucky lawmakers will again take up the issue of meth production and pseudoephedrine. The legislature has considered making cold and allergy medication that contains pseudoephedrine prescription-only, but that proposal failed. "We had U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers come and testify about why it should be made prescriptive. [He] certainly made a good argument. However I was not persuaded at that point that that was the solution," says Rep. Brent Yonts (D-Greenville). 

Read more

1:36pm

Mon November 21, 2011
State Capitol

Paul Pushes Alternative Debt Plan

With all indications that the congressional supercommittee tasked with cutting $1.2 trillion in budget savings by Wednesday is deadlocked, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul introduced an alternative plan late last week. The bipartisan 12-member committee, appointed by party leaders, has been in discussion for two months, but as of early today all signs pointed to the group being headed for a failure to reach a compromise.

2:27pm

Sun November 20, 2011
State Capitol

Paul Calls for Formal End to Iraq War

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, is calling for a formal end to U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq. Last week, Paul introduced an amendment to the Department of Defense authorization bill to formally end the war in Iraq. At an appearance in Bowling Green on Friday, Paul said he hopes the Senate votes on the amendment shortly after Thanksgiving. He said he’s already received some bipartisan support on the amendment.

2:25pm

Sun November 20, 2011
State Capitol

Governor Beshear Makes Appointment to Boards and Commissions

Gov. Steve Beshear has made the following appointment to Kentucky boards and commissions:
Beshear has appointed Josh Hopkins to the Kentucky Film Commission to serve for a term expiring Sept. 30, 2015. Josh Hopkins, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., is an actor. The appointment replaces Carol K. Butler, whose term has expired.

Read more

4:56pm

Thu November 17, 2011
State Capitol

Court of Appeals Hears Wilson Creek Mining Case

A Franklin County court will hear a coal company’s third appeal in a case against the state Energy and Environment Cabinet tomorrow. The contention is over mining near Wilson Creek in Floyd County. Several years ago, residents living on Wilson Creek petitioned the state to declare the area unsuitable for mining. That petition was rejected, but the Energy and Environment cabinet placed certain restrictions on mining in the area—like any mining would have to restore the land to its approximate original contour, instead of seeking a variance, and reclamation would have to be done with native tree species.

Read more

2:46pm

Thu November 17, 2011
State Capitol

Men Indicted For Scam of Elderly Woman

Antone Miller

Two Franklin County men have been indicted for scamming an elderly woman for work on her house, a prosecutor said. Joseph Lewis, 28, and Antone Miller, 42, were charged after they exploited Martha Guthrie, of Frankfort, by requesting around $4,000 for work on her house in late September, said Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland.

1:04pm

Wed November 16, 2011
State Capitol

Beshear Announces Inauguration Committee Co-Chairs

On Dec. 13, Gov. Steve Beshear will become only the second Kentucky governor to be sworn in to a second consecutive term. To oversee the state's 59th inaugural celebration, the governor Wednesday named eight inauguration committee co-chairs.

Read more

10:02am

Wed November 16, 2011
State Capitol

Lawmakers Draft Legislation for Petition Clarification

Kentucky lawmakers will draft legislation that could make the petition process in the state more consistent and easier. The issues that surrounded the petition submitted by the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky and the Northern Kentucky Tea Party in Kenton County in August have led the state Legislature to look at how referenda work in Kentucky.

1:36pm

Mon November 14, 2011
Statehouse News

State Announces Grant to Clean Up Illegal Dumps

The state Monday announced that about $2.1 million in grant funding has been awarded by the Kentucky Pride Fund for cleanup of 171 illegal dumps in 29 counties. “Illegal dumping is a major problem that raises significant concerns with regard to safety, property values and quality of life in our communities,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a press release. “It is a major economic burden on local governments, which are typically responsible for cleaning up dump sites.”

Read more

1:18pm

Mon November 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Bowling Green Discusses Ban of Synthetic Pot

Ashley Stillwell and Josh Walkup hope that no one else has to endure the pain brought on by their experiences with herbal potpourri. Walkup, 26, of Richardsville, and Stillwell, 18, will address the Bowling Green City Commission at 4 p.m. Dec. 6 during a work session to discuss banning the sale of products marketed as herbal incense or potpourri that are in fact being used as cheap, legal alternatives to marijuana.

12:01pm

Mon November 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Tax Reform Questions

 

The fast approaching 2012 Kentucky General Assembly session will likely include items leftover from the just completed governor’s race.  Both gubernatorial candidates agreed on the need for tax reform, but disagreed on the timing.  Governor Beshear wants to wait until the  economy improves, but, Senate President David William proposed immediate action.  It’s not a new topic. For years, Fayette County lawmaker Bill Farmer has urged lawmakers to consider tax reforms.

Read more

10:12am

Fri November 11, 2011
Statehouse News

Beshear Calls Special Election to Fill Legislative Seat

Governor Steve Beshear today set a special election date to fill a vacant legislative seat in the 82nd House district. Rep. Dewayne Bunch resigned his office last month in order to focus on his recovery from a head injury earlier this year.

Read more

10:05am

Fri November 11, 2011
Statehouse News

Court of Appeals to Hear Shelby Co. Case

The Kentucky Court of Appeals will convene Monday, Nov. 14, in Frankfort to hear arguments about a Shelby County Circuit Court judgment that upheld deferment of a woman’s parole eligibility for 20 years. Proceedings are open to the public and will take place at 9:45 a.m. EST in the Court of Appeals Courtroom at 360 Democrat Drive.

Read more

6:50am

Fri November 11, 2011
Statehouse News

Veteran Louisville Lawmaker Leaves Legislature

Louisville Senator Tim Shaughnessy.
Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

After more than two decades in Frankfort, state Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the Kentucky Senate in 2012.  Shaughnessy did not indicate why he was retiring, but thanked constituents for allowing him to be a public servant since 1988.  “I am grateful to the voters of my community for the honor and privilege of serving in the state Senate,” he said in a statement.

Read more

6:01pm

Thu November 10, 2011
Statehouse News

Lawmakers Expect Beshear to Push for Gambling

After Tuesday’s convincing win, local state lawmakers expect Gov. Steve Beshear to again push for expanding gambling and explore modernizing the state’s tax structure during his second term. Beshear, a Democrat, unofficially beat Republican challenger David Williams by 20 points Tuesday, garnering 464,635 votes to Williams’ 295,434. Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith got 74,923 votes, or 9 percent. Statewide, 28 percent of registered voters went to the polls.

1:17pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Statehouse News

State Announces $4 Million in Homeland Security Grants

The state on Wednesday announced $4.1 million in State Homeland Security Grants for 125 projects across Kentucky. The funding supports 911 programs, mobile computers and radios, bomb detection devices and first-responder training.

Read more

Pages