State Capitol

10:40am

Fri February 7, 2014
State Capitol

Statewide Smoking Ban Clears Committee

Credit wkms.org

A Kentucky House committee has approved a ban on indoor smoking in public places and private businesses across the state.

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10:36am

Fri February 7, 2014
State Capitol

Senate Leadership's Highest Priority Passes

Credit kentuckycrosswords.com

 The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would amend the state constitution and remove the governor's ability to implement regulations.

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6:44am

Fri February 7, 2014
State Capitol

House Backs Plan to Raise Ky. Minimum Wage

Credit appalachianareanews.com

The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed a bill to increase the minimum wage in the Commonwealth.  The measure raises the minimum wage 95 cents a year over a three year period.  If enacted into law, the hourly rate would go from seven dollars 25 cents to ten dollars and ten cents after three years.

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6:41am

Fri February 7, 2014
State Capitol

General Assembly to Consider Loosening Concealed Carry Rules

Credit amfirearms.com

People considered at risk in domestic situations may soon have access to additional protection.   Kentucky’s General Assembly is being asked to approve legislation loosening restrictions on concealed weapons.

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6:38am

Fri February 7, 2014
State Capitol

Committee Approves Caregiver Registry Bill

Credit cfha.net

A Kentucky Senate committee has approved additional protections for vulnerable Kentuckians who receive personal care services.  The bill is aimed at reducing adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation by creating a registry with the state.

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7:43am

Thu February 6, 2014
State Capitol

Abortion Related Ultrasound Bill Passes Senate

Credit kbcpublicaffairs.org

The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would require ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.  The bill does not include an exemption for victims of rape. According to the reproductive rights nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, 88 percent of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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5:31pm

Mon February 3, 2014
State Capitol

Governor to Reveal Tax Reform Plan Tuesday

Credit courier-journal.com

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear isn’t spilling any secrets about the tax reform proposal he plans to unveil Tuesday. When asked about his plan, mum is the word. Beshear won't say whether he wants to raise taxes, or whether his plan will be revenue neutral.

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10:22am

Sat February 1, 2014
State Capitol

Legislative Leaders to Meet with Governor on Tax Reform

Credit courier-journal.com

Leaders from both the Kentucky House and Senate are scheduled to meet with Governor Beshear Monday to talk tax reform.  Lawmakers have been waiting on details of a proposal. Governor Beshear promised weeks ago he would come forward with a legislative proposal to reform taxes.  But, the particulars of how to change the state’s tax structure will likely be revealed in Monday's meeting.

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9:43pm

Fri January 24, 2014
State Capitol

Assessing Pace of 2014 General Assembly

Credit courier-journal.com

The Kentucky general assembly is about a third of the way through the 2014 session.  As is the case in most Kentucky legislative sessions, a great deal of the voting comes in the later weeks and days.  For instance, no votes occurred in either house Friday morning and both the House and Senate were in session for less than an hour.

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10:27pm

Wed January 22, 2014
State Capitol

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Eliminate State Treasurer

Legislation seeking to eliminate the state office of treasurer is making its way through the Kentucky Senate.  The Senate State and Local Government Committee easily approved the measure Wednesday.  Bill Sponsor Chris McDaniel says voter approval of the constitutional amendment would save taxpayers about two and a half million dollars each year.

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4:29pm

Fri January 17, 2014
State Capitol

Bill to Permit Monkey Service Companions Filed in State Senate

Credit claycotalk.proboards.com

A bill that would permit monkeys to be used as service companions for paralyzed Kentuckians has been filed in the state Senate  At first blush, northern Kentucky Senator John Schikel’s bill sounds like fodder for The Daily Show. It allows primates to serve as service companions in private residences.  But when asked about it, Shickel, a former police officer, breaks down in tears.

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5:15pm

Thu January 16, 2014
State Capitol

Heroin Legislation Approved in Kentucky Senate

Credit kentucky.com

The Kentucky Senate has adopted legislation aimed at addressing the state’s growing heroin problem.  It contains provisions on treatment, education, and intervention.   Senate bill five increases penalties for high volume heroin traffickers and paves the way for charging them with homicide when there is an overdose death.

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5:06pm

Wed January 15, 2014
State Capitol

Amendment To Consolidate Statewide, National Elections Moves In Senate

FRANKFORT— Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington (left), confers with Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, in the Kentucky Senate.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A proposal to change the timing of elections for Kentucky’s statewide officers has sailed out of a Senate committee.  If it passes the House and voters approve the constitutional amendment, statewide races for governor, attorney general, and agriculture commissioner would coincide with national elections.  Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer supports the change.

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8:53pm

Thu January 9, 2014
State Capitol

Legislation to Focus on Spotting Early Signs Of Child Abuse

FRANKFORT— Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville (left), and Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, follow testimony during a meeting of the House Health and Welfare Committee.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Legislation that requires training for physicians so they can better spot signs of child abuse is pending in Frankfort.  The bill was given a preliminary hearing Thursday at the state capital.


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4:35pm

Wed January 8, 2014
State Capitol

EKU, UK And Berea Partner On "Promise Zones" In Southeast Kentucky

Credit Eastern Kentucky University

A new federal program could allow eight southeast Kentucky counties to attract more support in their fight against poverty.  The program would create a so-called "Promise Zone." The designation could bring more federal money into the region and spawn additional partnerships between government agencies, social service groups and private employers.  E-K-U President Michael Benson says his school will also be involved in the initiative.

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4:57am

Wed January 8, 2014
State Capitol

Education Funding, Tax Reform Demanded In State Of The Commonwealth Address

Gov. Steve Beshear entered the House of Representatives to give his State of the Commonwealth Address at the Kentucky State Capitol on Jan. 7, 2014, in Frankfort.
Credit Mark Cornelison / Lexington Herald Leader

A State of the Commonwealth Speech offers Kentucky's governor an opportunity to emphasize an administration's accomplishments.  Last night, Governor Steve Beshear spent a good amount of time talking about health care reforms, but also called on the general assembly to enhance state revenues and reform taxes.

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5:05pm

Tue January 7, 2014
State Capitol

Critics Renew Debate Over House Handling Of Sexual Harrassment Claims

FRANKFORT— House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook (left), speaks with House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives prior to the start of the opening day of the 2014 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

The opening day of 2014 general assembly included a renewal of the debate over a highly publicized sexual harassment case. Critics took to the house floor and attacked the House special committee that investigated allegation of sexual harassment leveled against former Representative John Arnold.  The panel disbanded just before the holidays without taking action.   
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8:20am

Mon January 6, 2014
State Capitol

Stumbo Maintains Investigative Committee Could Meet Again

Credit weedist.com

The future of a disbanded Kentucky House committee formed to look into harassment claims against a former lawmaker may be decided this year.  Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador reports  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the committee charged with investigating John Arnold could be resurrected.

Although the committee had nothing to show after meeting five times and spending thousands of taxpayer dollars, Stumbo says there’s still a chance for it to continue its mission. He says that if he were in charge, the outcome would have been different.

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2:40pm

Tue December 24, 2013
State Capitol

Privatization Debate Likely to Resurface in 2014 General Assembly

Credit freedomkentucky.org

Kentucky lawmakers are being asked to consider a new proposal for privatizing certain services or projects.  It is not new to Kentucky state government.  Privatization was used in a significant way to house inmates across the Commonwealth for decades.

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2:56pm

Mon December 23, 2013
State Capitol

Kentucky Lawmakers to Consider Changes to City Classification System

Credit lexingtonky.gov

The state’s classification of its cities could be significantly modified under legislation being promoted by the Kentucky League of Cities.  Currently there are six different classes...all based on a city's population.  League of Cities Director Jonathan Steiner says the proposal cuts the number of classifications in half.

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12:31pm

Mon December 16, 2013
State Capitol

Lawmakers and Business Leaders Face Shortfall Reality

Credit courier-journal.com

New revenue in Kentucky’s upcoming biennial budget will not be enough to account for an estimated $450 million shortfall. Lawmakers expect about $230 million in new revenue to be available for the budget. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo recently told a group of Kentucky’s top business leaders that more than half of that money will be used to pay down the state’s pension debt.

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3:38pm

Thu December 12, 2013
State Capitol

No Actions Brought by Special Committee in Arnold Case

Credit wfpl.org

A former western Kentucky lawmaker is not expected to face sanctions from the House over allegations that he sexually harassed legislative staffers. A House investigative committee voted 3-2 along party lines today to adjourn without taking any action against former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis. The committee concluded it has no legal authority because Arnold has already resigned.

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6:55am

Thu December 12, 2013
State Capitol

Harrassment Allegations Brings Audit of LRC

Credit corrections.ky

Kentucky legislative leaders are moving forward with an audit of the state’s largest bureaucracy.  Kentucky House and Senate leaders hired the National Conference of State Legislatures to conduct an audit of the Legislative Research Commission, which has come under fire over its handling of employee harassment complaints. Taxpayers will be on the hook for more than $42,000 for the review.

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6:56am

Wed December 11, 2013
State Capitol

Thomas Takes the Senatorial Seat, Makes History

Thomas and his supporters celebrate the senatorial win
Credit kentucky.com

For the first time, an African American will represent Fayette County in the Kentucky state senate.  Democrat Reginald Thomas easily won Tuesday’s special election.  He will finish the unexpired term of Kathy Stein, who now serves as a Fayette County judge.  Thomas defeated former Lexington council member Richard Moloney and Republican minister Michael Johnson.

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10:05pm

Mon December 9, 2013
State Capitol

Higher State Revenues, Deeper Budget Cuts Predicted

Kentucky Budget Director Jane Driskell
Credit bizjournals.com

State revenues exceed expectations but budget officials say they won’t be enough to satisfy the need.  State Budget Director Jane Driskell offered a financial report Monday in Lexington during the annual Kentucky Chamber Legislative Preview.  By the end of June, state income will likely run 130-million over budget.  But Driskell says the amount needed to cover the growing costs in areas like Medicaid, teacher retirements, and education is much higher than the available monies.

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6:53am

Mon December 9, 2013
State Capitol

Senatorial Candidates See a Need for Social Reforms

Credit waltham.patch.com

The three candidates vying for a state senate seat in central Kentucky see a need for reforms to social services.  Tuesday’s special election is being held in the Lexington area. 

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6:12pm

Thu December 5, 2013
State Capitol

Lexington Senate Candidates Weigh In On Rupp Project

Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News

Next Tuesday’s special election in Lexington pits Democrat Reginald Thomas, Republican Michael Johnson, and Independent Richard Moloney in a race for the state senate.  The winner will replace former State Senator Kathy Stein, who’s now a family court judge.  The community’s next representative will have a part to play in the revitalization of downtown Lexington, including a major overhaul of Rupp Arena.


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6:48am

Mon November 25, 2013
State Capitol

Chief Justice Asking for More Pay for Those in the Courts

Credit wfpl.org

Kentucky's top judge will ask for more funding to bring justice cabinet salaries in line with those of the legislative and executive branches. Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton will present a budget overview and a request for additional money to lawmakers today in Frankfort.

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6:39am

Mon November 25, 2013
State Capitol

Opposition to Latest Expanded Gambling Surfaces

Credit bloodhorse.com

Just a week after a Louisville lawmaker pre-field expanded gaming legislation, opposition to it is already starting to take shape. Stan Cave is a former Republican House member and an attorney for the anti-gaming Family Foundation. He says that recent expanded gaming bills from Democratic Rep. Larry Clark do little to protect the thoroughbred industry, and would pave the way for casino interests to control Kentucky politics.

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4:32pm

Thu November 21, 2013
State Capitol

Kentucky Representative Larry Clark Files Pair of Expanded Gaming Bills

Credit Miranda Pederson / The Daily News

A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a pair of bills that will again bring the issue of expanded gaming before the General Assembly. State Rep. Larry Clark, a Louisville Democrat, has pre-filed legislation that would place a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2014 ballot asking Kentucky voters if they permit "the General Assembly to pass laws authorizing casino gaming?” according to language in BR 108.


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