State Capitol

12:56pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Statehouse News

Widening Interstate 64 a Top Road Priority

When officials lobby for road projects during the 2012 legislative session, widening Interstate 64 in Franklin County will be a high priority. The Bluegrass Area Development District – tasked with economic development issues – published a list of key projects this week. The agency includes officials from 15 central Kentucky counties

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12:25pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Statehouse News

Troopers "Friend" Potential Recruits

Frankfort - Kentucky State Police is tapping into cyberspace through social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to entice new recruits to join the agency. KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer announced Friday that the agency launched its first of several recruiting videos via YouTube.

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12:23pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Statehouse News

Blasting Suspended at Two Kentucky Mines

FRANKFORT – Blasting at two Eastern Kentucky mines sent rocks through the air that damaged nearby property, including two homes, according to the Department of Natural Resources, which suspended the blasting until those responsible could explain how they intend to prevent it from happening again.

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5:19pm

Thu July 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Paying Off the Recession

Members of the Interim Legislative Budget Committee meeting Thursday in Frankfort
Stu Johnson Weku

While federal lawmakers wrestle with their debt ceiling, legislators in Kentucky have their own debt problems to worry about. A bill comes due in September that worries state officials and business leaders.  Kentucky borrowed about 900 million dollars from the federal government for jobless benefits, and it must make a 28 million dollar interest payment.  If the state falls short, the premiums paid by business for unemployment insurance could go up 400 dollars per employee or about 640 million dollars.

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4:27pm

Thu July 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Governor: Not Invited, Couldn't Go

When President Obama visited Fort Campbell just before Derby Day, Kentucky’s Governor confirms he did not receive a formal invitation to participate.  Nor, could Governor Steve Beshear rework his schedule to join in a ceremony for the Navy Seals who killed Osama Bin Laden.  At the time, Beshear did not talk about not receiving an invitation. The governor said today (Thursday) it was not an attempt to mislead the public for political gain

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4:25pm

Thu July 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Debt Debate Spawns Doubt in Frankfort

While exasperated over the debt ceiling debate, Kentucky’s governor thinks its impacts on the Commonwealth could be minimal. The governor says there’s no way the United States ought to be at this crossroads right now.  Steve Beshear says politicians in Washington have allowed partisan politics to rule the day with no thought to the interest of the American public.  Beshear says Kentucky relies on the federal government for Medicaid, transportation, and education funding.

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10:32am

Thu July 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Lawmakers Weigh in on Hospital Merger

Following growing tensions between health care executives and those opposing the proposed merger among University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare, and the St. Joseph Healthcare System, Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway are weighing in. Beshear issued a statement Wednesday citing "growing concerns within the community about issues related to the hospital's future level of access to medical services" as a reason to conduct a "deliberate and thoughtful" review of the merger.

10:10am

Thu July 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Lawmakers Debate Homeless Voter Policy

Some lawmakers continued to voice concerns about the potential for fraud if someone exploited the state’s policy for registering homeless voters. Others questioned if it is even an issue. Secretary of State Elaine Walker told legislators this week she doesn’t see any evidence that homeless voters have been used to commit voter fraud and said homeless voters across Kentucky are few.

10:02am

Thu July 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Lawsuit Filed Against Daymar College

Attorney General Jack Conway Wednesday filed suit in Daviess County against the owners and operators of Daymar College over allegations the for-profit college violated Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit alleges that Daymar Learning, Inc., Daymar Learning of Paducah, Inc., Draughons Junior College, Inc., Daymar Colleges Group LLC, Daymar Holdings, Inc. and the president of these companies, Mark Gabis, violated the Consumer Protection Act by engaging in unfair, false, misleading, and deceptive trade practices.

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1:47pm

Wed July 27, 2011
Statehouse News

'Rainy Day Fund' Receives Large Deposit

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that the state closed Fiscal Year 2011 with a $156.8 million General Fund surplus, on the strength of positive revenues that exceeded budgeted levels.  More than 75 percent of that surplus - $121.8 million - will be deposited into the Budget Reserve Trust Fund, the state’s so-called “rainy day fund.” This is the largest such deposit in state history from an end of year surplus.

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1:16pm

Wed July 27, 2011
Statehouse News

McConnell Still Backs Boehner Plan

Despite challenges within the Republican Party and projections that other congressional plans would result in more savings, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated his support for House Speaker John Boehner’s plan Wednesday.  Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said the proposal will prevent a government default before the August 2 deadline and reduce Washington spending. And unlike President Barack Obama, McConnell points out Boehner was courageous enough to provide the country with an option.

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10:20am

Wed July 27, 2011
Statehouse News

Feds Intervene in Nurses' Registry Lawsuit

The federal government has decided to stake a claim in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by two former employees against Lexington-based Nurses' Registry and Home Health Corporation, a health care company run by businessman Lennie House. The lawsuit, which alleges Medicare fraud spanning nearly a decade — and retaliation against employees who refused to take part in the fraud — was filed in 2008 by Alisia Robinson-Hill, former vice president of operations, and David Price, a former case manager and office administrator for the company.

10:08am

Wed July 27, 2011
Statehouse News

Owen Voters Say No to Alcohol Sales

The voters of Owen County have rejected a proposal that would have expanded alcohol sales. The final tally was 1,522 votes cast for expanded alcohol sales and 1,792 voting no, a difference of 270 votes. Owen County Clerk Joan Kincaid said she expected a 53-percent turnout early Tuesday. When all the results were official, only 44 percent of registered voters cast their ballots.

7:52pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Statehouse News

Registering Homeless Voters

Secretary of State Elaine Walker with State Election Officials Tuesday at a legislative hearing.
Stu Johnson Weku

Some county clerks say the current system for registering homeless voters is fraught with peril. When a homeless person registers to vote, Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown says something as simple as assigning a poling place becomes complicated.

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10:24am

Tue July 26, 2011
Statehouse News

Homeless Voter Registration to be Discussed

Secretary of State Elaine Walker and Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown will address state legislators this afternoon on the issues surrounding homeless voter registration. They will speak before the Interim Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs to talk about the concerns raised over a memo last month from the Kentucky Board of Elections on the process for homeless voter registration.

10:15am

Sun July 24, 2011
Statehouse News

Same Sex Marriages Ignored in KY

Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York, and couples from across the country have made plans to travel to the state for what are commonly called “destination weddings.” But those weddings will not be recognized by many other states, including Kentucky, which has a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. But Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman says that won’t stop local LGBT couples from going anyway.

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10:06am

Sun July 24, 2011
Statehouse News

Nursing Home Sued Before

A nursing home defending itself from a federal lawsuit alleging that it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by billing $16 million for "worthless" services and care so "grossly deficient" it led to the death of patients, has quietly settled claims of neglecting residents in previous years. Villaspring Health Care Center of Erlanger reached out-of-court settlements in one wrongful-death claim and one negligent-care claim, according to Kenton County Circuit Court records.

9:59am

Sun July 24, 2011
Statehouse News

Jailers Work to Control Street Gangs

An inmate in the Simpson County Jail displays a Crip tattoo. Jailers pay attention to gang tattoos so they can keep rival gang members away from each other to prevent gang violence in county jails.
Pete Rodman Bowling Green Daily News

Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, MS-13, Gangster Disciples, Asian Pride - jailers work to quickly identify inmates who claim allegiance to these street gangs and others for the safety of the keepers, as well as the kept. Decades-old gang rivalries that span from the East Coast to West Coast have created housing and safety concerns for southcentral Kentucky jailers. Jailers are constantly on the alert to prevent gang-related violence. “You have to make every effort to do everything you can to keep the facility safe,” Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode said.

4:24pm

Fri July 22, 2011
Statehouse News

Jury Indicts Another Nursing Home Head

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions Friday announced the indictment of a second former administrator of Golden Years Rest Home in Jenkins. A Letcher County grand jury returned an indictment on Thursday against 25-year-old Jonah Tackett on two counts of bribing a witness, two counts of tampering with a witness and three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property, all Class D felonies.

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1:43pm

Fri July 22, 2011
Statehouse News

New Hope for Those Without Visas

Members of the Warren County Domestic Violence Council heard presentations Thursday about a grant to fund legal services to local victims of domestic violence and two visas designed to provide immigration status to noncitizens who are victims of serious crimes. Created out of federal legislation passed in 2000, both visas provide temporary citizenship status to victims of serious crimes. The T visas are available for victims of sex trafficking, while U visas can be issued to foreign nationals who are victims of a broad range of serious crimes, including assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, rape and other sexual offenses.

12:50pm

Fri July 22, 2011
Statehouse News

Senator Discussed Terrorist Concerns

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told the Daily News he walked away pleased following a meeting Thursday with FBI Director Robert Mueller. Paul met with Mueller to address how Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were admitted into the United States as refugees from Iraq before eventually being arrested on terrorism charges in Bowling Green in May. Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, said his main concern was whether the 60,000 Iraqi refugees admitted into the country in the past three years were screened properly, and what was being done to screen them properly in the future.

10:06am

Fri July 22, 2011
Statehouse News

Doctors Debate Eye Surgery Bill

Doctors on Thursday debated the amount of training needed for optometrists to perform some minor eye surgeries allowed under legislation approved in February by the Kentucky General Assembly. Senate Bill 110 raised eyebrows for the short time it took both chambers to pass the bill - 10 days - and the Kentucky Optometric Association's political action committee giving more than $400,000 in campaign contributions to lawmakers and the gubernatorial campaigns of Gov. Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams in the past two years.

5:25pm

Thu July 21, 2011
Statehouse News

$26-Million State Settlement with Passport

Attorney General Jack Conway Thursday announced a $26.4 million civil settlement with the physician and hospital partners of the Passport Health Plan. The partners must begin repayment within 10 days of this announcement. The final payments will take place on or before Jan. 1, 2016.

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2:12pm

Thu July 21, 2011
Statehouse News

McConnell Honored for Fight Against Drugs

The office of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Thursday he accepted the All Rise Leadership Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. The award was given to several members of Congress Tuesday and is handed out to lawmakers who exhibit a commitment to combating drug related crime and addiction through appropriate court programs.

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3:04pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Statehouse News

"Caylee's Law" could Prove Ineffective

A bill in reaction to the high-profile Casey Anthony trial in Orlando Florida has surfaced in Kentucky. “Caylee’s Law” was recently pre-filed for the 2012 legislative session. When Anthony was acquitted of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee, many observers were outraged that she faced no jail time for failing to report her daughter missing for 31 days.“Caylee’s Law” would charge a parent or guardian with a felony for failing to report a child under 12 missing within 12 hours.

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10:24am

Wed July 20, 2011
Statehouse News

Lawsuit Claims Negligence at Jail

An inmate at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center died last year after his diabetes was left untreated, and jail employees watched him lie unresponsive for an hour before calling an ambulance, a federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges. The estate of James Sours filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Pikeville against the regional jail in Johnson County, which was the target of a grand jury investigation last year; another inmate died in 2009.

10:20am

Wed July 20, 2011
Statehouse News

Nursing Home Faces Feds

What began as county-level allegations against an Erlanger nursing home was elevated all the way to the federal level because authorities wanted a tougher possible punishment. While using the federal False Claims Act is not a common practice in taking action against nursing homes, there is precedent nationally, even if it hasn't been used in Kentucky for such purposes until Friday's civil lawsuit against Villaspring of Erlanger Health Care Center and Rehabilitation.

5:17pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Statehouse News

Insurance Chief Heads National Committee

FRANKFORT – Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark has been named chairwoman of the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The committee monitors all aspects of the insurance market’s regulatory practices and reviews how those efforts affect insurance consumers. The committee was actively involved in national efforts to protect military personnel from inappropriate sales activities on U.S. military installations.

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1:39pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Statehouse News

McConnell Urges Support for Debt Plan

Speaking on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged his colleagues to support the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan being proposed in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon.  Backed by the Tea Party, the bill seeks to curb government spending by cutting spending by $111 billion and capping federal expenditures to 19.9% of the nation’s gross domestic output. The legislation also seeks to send a balanced-budget constitutional amendment to the states for ratification.

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1:36pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Statehouse News

Insurance Commissioner Named Chairwoman

Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark has been named chairwoman of the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The committee monitors all aspects of the insurance market’s regulatory practices and reviews how those efforts affect insurance consumers.

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