State Capitol

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.


Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.   
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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. 

Read more

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.

The three candidates in the special senatorial election in Lexington offer their thoughts about the Rupp Arena and convention center projects

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.


Read more

5:35pm

Tue November 19, 2013
State Capitol

Report On LGBT Equality Shows Improvement In Commonwealth

Credit Pak Gwei / Flickr, Creative Commons

A new report measuring the level of equality afforded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans shows substantial improvements in the Kentucky cities measured, said Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman.  The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday released its second annual Municipal Equality Index, examining laws and policies that foster LGBT equality in nearly 300 American cities and awarded them points on a scale of 0-100.

Read more

6:42am

Mon November 18, 2013
State Capitol

Kentucky Hemp Supporters to Rally In D.C.

Credit hemp.org

Hemp supporters will rally in Washington D.C. today.  They want Congress to lift a federal ban on the plant for industrial use.  Earlier this year Kentucky lawmakers approved the research and cultivation of hemp. It has yet to be implemented because the federal government still considers the crop a controlled substance.

Read more

6:35am

Mon November 18, 2013
State Capitol

Public Protection Cabinet Secretary Honored

Credit maysville-online.com

 Public Protection Secretary Robert Vance has been honored for the "highest level" of ethical standards by a watchdog panel that oversees the behavior of executive branch staffers. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission recently presented Vance with the Livingston Taylor Ethics Award.

Read more

3:22pm

Thu November 14, 2013
State Capitol

Attorney General Defends Power To Prosecute Before Kentucky Supreme Court

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.

Floyd Grover Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on multiple drug trafficking charges  in Powell County. But in his appeal, Floyd successfully argued that because the investigation leading to his indictment was conducted solely by uninvited law enforcement agencies outside of Powell County—including detectives from the Kentucky Attorney General's Office and officers working for Operation UNITE, an anti-drug enforcement non-profit founded by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-5—then his 2009 indictment should be moot.


Read more

5:26pm

Tue November 12, 2013
State Capitol

LRC's Legal Troubles Cost Taxpayers $115,000

Lawmakers unanimously approved a contract today to hire attorneys to represent a state agency in a pair of sexual harassment lawsuits.  The Government Contract Review Committee approved a $115,000 contract to hire the Lexington-based firm Landrum and Shouse to represent the Legislative Research Commission in a pair of lawsuits brought by female staffers, who’ve alleged that the LRC did little to address their complaints against former lawmaker John Arnold and Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia.

Read more

7:14am

Tue November 12, 2013
State Capitol

Kentucky's 'Homegrown by Heroes' Program Goes Nationwide

Credit Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Among the litany of conscious-consumer labels like “certified organic” and “fair trade,” you might already be familiar with the Kentucky-specific “Homegrown by Heroes.” That logo tells you, for example, that the jar of Eastern Kentucky sorghum was produced by farmers who served in America’s armed forces.


Read more

8:51am

Mon November 11, 2013
State Capitol

County Clerk Accused Of Keeping Automobile Taxes

Bell County Clerk Rebecca Blevins.
Credit Office of the Kentucky Attorney General

Bell County Clerk Rebecca Blevins and three others from her office were accused Friday of theft from Kentuckians who purchased automobiles out of state. Instead of receiving a tax rebate form the clerk’s office like they were supposed to, Blevins allegedly kept the money, said the attorney general's office. Kentucky State Police and the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigation executed a warrant Friday morning against Blevins.

Read more

1:33pm

Wed November 6, 2013
State Capitol

Defendants Discussed During First Hearing On Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against John Arnold

Credit Jonathan Meador / Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—The first hearing in the sexual harassment lawsuit against former state Rep. John Arnold and elements of Kentucky state government revolved Wednesday around determining which parties should be accused.  The hearing  resulted in a delay in the trial until later this month.

Read more

8:45pm

Tue November 5, 2013
State Capitol

Opponents Deliver Anti-Pipeline Petition To Kentucky's Governor

The governor's secretary, Debi Gall, receives the petition from Sister Claire McGowan.
Credit Jonathan Meador / Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—Opponents of a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline through Kentucky delivered a petition to Gov. Steve Beshear's office Tuesday morning, citing concerns over the project's impact on the state's environment and asking the governor to block it.


Read more

1:44pm

Tue November 5, 2013
State Capitol

Kentucky's Child Abuse Panel Requesting $420,000

An independent Kentucky panel in charge of reviewing child abuse cases is requesting $420,000 from the state’s budget to perform its duties.  The Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel was created following criticism of accountability and transparency in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which deals with child abuse cases.  Read more...

4:41pm

Wed October 16, 2013
State Capitol

Ease Data Flow, Cut Emergency Care, Save Tax Dollars

FRANKFORT— Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, poses a question during the October meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Through an easier exchange of computerized health records, state officials hope to lower traffic at emergency rooms and save millions of dollars.  The initiative is aimed at patients known as ‘super utilizers’

Read more

Pages