State Capitol

6:48am

Thu September 20, 2012
State Capitol

State GOP Platform Released

Kentucky Republicans have unveiled a new legislative platform to help boost their chances of winning the state House this fall.  The GOP needs to win 9 seats in order to take the House majority.  Wednesday, they unveiled the agenda they'll enact if they win those seats in November.  House Republican leader Jeff Hoover says, among other goals, the GOP wants to change the state tax code.

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10:10am

Tue September 11, 2012

4:13pm

Mon September 10, 2012
State Capitol

State Revenues Fall Below Expectations

State  Forecasters predicted 3% revenue growth this year, but so far this summer, state revenues have been flat.  While there’s no need yet for alarm, Budget Director Mary Lassiter says steady declines in income and sales taxes is cause for concern.   It’s still early in the state’s fiscal year, and the Commonwealth has until next summer to improve revenues.

5:42am

Thu August 30, 2012
State Capitol

New Chief of Staff in the Governor's Office

Governor Steve Beshear has promoted his deputy chief of staff to the top spot.  Louisville native Larry Bond was named chief of staff today.  He replaces Mike Haydon, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.  Bond was named to the deputy spot two years ago, after spending years in various roles in state government. He also worked in Louisville city government for years, including time as the city’s chief administrative officer.

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6:26am

Tue August 28, 2012
State Capitol

Medical Marijuana Bill Filed

Kentucky lawmakers will consider a medical marijuana bill in 2013.  The legislation has been pre-filed by Louisville Senator Perry Clark.  It would allow patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis, HIV-AIDS, cancer, and other serious medical conditions.  The measure also establishes a network of state regulated dispensaries where patients could purchase medical marijuana.

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6:24am

Tue August 28, 2012
State Capitol

Businesses Get Second Chance

A second chance for thousands of Kentucky businesses to make required filings with the Secretary of State’s office is about up.  Entities authorized to transact business in Kentucky were required to file annual reports and pay a 15 dollar fee no later than July second of this year.  Those businesses which missed the July deadline were notified they were no longer in good standing with the state.  Officials with the Secretary of State’s Office say they now have until September tenth to remedy the delinquency before being administratively dissolved or having their certificates of authority revoked.

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1:10pm

Thu August 23, 2012
State Capitol

Governor will soon name Chief of Staff

Governor Steve Beshear says he will appoint a new chief of staff soon, despite still being saddened by the sudden loss of his former chief of staff, Mike Haydon. Haydon died suddenly of a heart attack earlier this month. Haydon worked in government for more than three decades, and had been Beshear's chief of staff since 2010.

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12:09pm

Thu August 23, 2012
State Capitol

Dormant Hemp Commission Revived

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul voiced his support Thursday for legalizing industrial hemp. He backs Agriculture Commissioner James Comer efforts.
Jack Brammer Lexington Herald Leader

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he is restarting the long-dormant Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission. The General Assembly created the commission ten years ago to look into hemp's potential in the commonwealth, but it has never met. This morning, Comer announced that he is reforming the commission and, per state law, he will be the chairman.

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1:37pm

Wed August 22, 2012
State Capitol

Kentucky DEMS Wary of Senate Races

Conway, Edelen and Grimes.

Two of Kentucky's highest profile Democrats say they are not interested in taking on U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014. Attorney General Jack Conway, who ran for Senate in 2010 against Republican Rand Paul, says he isn't interested in running for the chamber again.

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9:54am

Tue August 21, 2012
State Capitol

Conway Open to Exemptions in Prescribed Pill Law

A leading advocate of Kentucky's new prescription pill law says he's ready to listen to doctors who want to change it. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has made fighting prescription pill abuse one of his top priorities. Earlier this year, he was a leading supporter of House Bill 1, which mandates that most doctors use the KASPER pill tracking system.

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6:00am

Mon August 20, 2012
State Capitol

Beshear Wants State Pensions Preserved

Governor Steve Beshear says he's interested in a so-called hybrid approach to pension reform. Lawmakers are discussing how to fix the flailing public pension plans for state and county employees. They'll make recommendations at the end of the year. Beshear says he would support a plan, that allows current to employees keep their pensions, but require new employees to pay into a 401k-type plan.

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5:23am

Fri August 17, 2012
State Capitol

Special Taxing Districts Under Review

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen is encouraging local officials to help him find out about the state’s hundreds of special taxing districts.  A special taxing district is a quasi-governmental agency—such as a local sewer system or public library—that gets its funds from a separate tax.  No one knows how many such districts there are in the state. And since the spring, Edelen has set out to find and catalog all of the districts, then see if any are abusing public funds.

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11:48am

Wed August 15, 2012
State Capitol

Major Tax Overhaul Unlikely in Kentucky

The chair of Kentucky’s tax commission says a sweeping overhaul of the state's tax code isn't in the works. Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson says, in his heart, he wants to see a major change in the tax code.

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5:57am

Wed August 15, 2012
State Capitol

Alcoholic Beverage Choices in Groceries Could Change

A federal judge's ruling could open the door to the sale of hard liquor and wine in grocery stores.  Currently state law allows grocery stores to only sell beer, while liquor stores and drug stores can sell beer, wine and liquor. After years of unsuccessful lobbying to change the law, grocery associations sued in federal court last year. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville handed down a ruling in their favor today, declaring that the ban is unconstitutional.

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6:22am

Mon August 13, 2012
State Capitol

Governor Shocked by Sudden Death of Chief of Staff

Mike Haydon, Governor Beshear’s chief of staff passed away over the weekend.  In a statement, the governor said ‘Jane and I are shocked and devastated by the sudden death of my chief of staff and good friend, Mike Hayden.’   The Lexington Herald reports Hayden suffered a heart attack.  The 62 year old Hayden spent more than 30 years in public service at both the state and local level.

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4:14pm

Tue August 7, 2012
State Capitol

Access to Forage Eased For Drought-Stricken Farms

Drought-stricken Kentucky farmers in need of hay or other forages for their livestock can seek help through a state Department of Agriculture website. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says a forage sales directory is up and running that can match up farmers with forages for sale with those whose pastures and fields have been dried up by the drought.    A similar program is also available for farmers in Indiana.

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3:34pm

Wed August 1, 2012
State Capitol

Tamper Resistant Drivers Licenses

FRANKFORT – Kentucky begins a transition to a new driver’s license this month that, while similar in appearance to current licenses, contains security features for greater protection of privacy and resistance to tampering.

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12:31pm

Mon July 30, 2012
State Capitol

Kentucky Courthouse Closures

One week from today , courthouses across the commonwealth will be closed.   The closures are part of a cost saving measure.  The Kentucky Judicial Branch shuts down on August sixth for the first of three furlough days this year.  Leigh Ann Hiatt with the state Administrative Office of the Courts says the furloughs are part of the state’s budget reduction plan.  “No judicial center or courthouse in Kentucky will be open that day.  It also means, just in general, you can’t get a new driver’s license or one renewed,” said Hiatt.

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5:45am

Fri July 27, 2012
State Capitol

A Trimmed State Surplus Reported

Despite accounting mistakes and unforeseen disaster relief expenses, state government is closing the 2012 budget with another surplus. Originally, the budgetary surplus was 83 million dollars, now it's almost halved to 45 million dollars.  State Budget Director Mary Lassiter informed lawmakers of the surplus at an interim committee meeting today. And she says the remaining surplus will be put into the legislature’s savings account.

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4:39pm

Thu July 26, 2012
State Capitol

HB 463 Early Results are Mixed

Kentucky’s Justice Cabinet secretary says a 2011 law meant to reduce state prison costs is producing mixed results.

Secretary J. Michael Brown says arrests are down and in its first year in action, and less convicts passed through state prisons.

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3:31pm

Wed July 25, 2012
State Capitol

Kentucky Pensions Lose Millions to Banking Scandal

A former financial planner for the Kentucky Pension Systems says an international banking scandal is leading to millions of dollars in losses for Kentucky agencies. Financial analyst Chris Tobe believes the pension systems have lost money due to the false interest rates associated with the LIBOR banking scandal.

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1:53pm

Mon July 23, 2012
State Capitol

First "Visual Step" in Bridges Project Demolished

Gov. Beshear and Lt Gov. Jerry Abramson walk past one of the two buildings that will be preserved.
Louisville Public Media

Several buildings along Main Street across from Louisville Slugger Field have sat empty for more than a quarter of a century. Graffiti decorates the walls inside and outside of the complex, which state officials have deemed contaminated. The buildings also stand in the way of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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5:13pm

Thu July 19, 2012
State Capitol

Alleged Trafficker Caught in Frankfort

A Frankfort man fell asleep behind the wheel of his car at a busy local intersection and woke up to face charges of trafficking in pills, a prosecutor says. Joseph Smith, 35, was idling at the traffic light at a downtown Frankfort intersection on June 30, Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said Wednesday. “He’s just sitting there,” Cleveland said. “The police officer approaches because the light changes a couple times and he doesn’t move.”

5:11pm

Thu July 19, 2012
State Capitol

Task Force Created to Reform Alcohol Laws

FRANKFORT – Citing concerns that alcoholic beverage laws in Kentucky are outdated and sometimes contradictory, Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on the Study of Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws.

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2:47pm

Thu July 19, 2012
State Capitol

Task Force to Modernize ABC Laws

FRANKFORT – Citing concerns that alcoholic beverage laws in Kentucky are outdated and sometimes contradictory, Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on the Study of Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws.

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4:56pm

Wed July 18, 2012
State Capitol

State's High Court will Decide Instant Gaming

Supporters of instant racing in Kentucky are once again trying to take their case to the state supreme court. Instant racing games allow players to wager on previously-run horse races using slot-machine like-devices. The Franklin Circuit Court previously ruled that the games are legal, but an appeals court sent the decision back, saying  the anti-gambling Family Foundation should've been allowed to gather evidence in the case.  Now horse industry officials are appealing that decision in hopes of taking the case to the state supreme court.

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9:33am

Tue July 17, 2012
State Capitol

Landlord Liable in Dog Attack

Andrew Fuller, 10, holds the lion costume he was wearing in 2009 when he was attacked by a neighbor's dog near his home on West 13th Street in Newport.
Kentucky Enquirer

The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued a potentially groundbreaking opinion that a landlord can be held liable when a tenant’s dog attacks someone, but the ruling didn’t help a Newport family that brought the lawsuit. Kentucky landlords may now be forced to pay higher premiums for their insurance, may be less likely to allow tenants to have dogs or may more strictly enforce policies that tenants carry renter’s insurance, say landlords’ advocates.

5:38pm

Mon July 16, 2012
State Capitol

Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel Created

FRANKFORT – In order to ensure that state agencies meet the policies and standards expected in cases of child abuse and neglect, Gov. Steve Beshear Monday issued an executive order to establish the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel. The independent, multi-disciplinary panel will conduct comprehensive reviews of child fatalities and near fatalities that are determined to be the result of child abuse or neglect.

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2:05pm

Mon July 16, 2012
State Capitol

Beshear Holds Firm on Healthcare Reforms

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is not joining other Kentucky  officials in calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Many leading Republicans in the state—including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—have pushed for full repeal of the healthcare law. But in an interview with NPR, Beshear said they're playing politics.

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1:57pm

Mon July 16, 2012
State Capitol

Vets Celebrated by New Scott County Park

GEORGETOWN – Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson Monday joined federal, state and local leaders at a dedication ceremony to officially open the state’s newest wildlife recreation area, in Scott County, for public hunting, fishing, hiking and sightseeing. The Veterans Memorial Wildlife Management Area, named in honor of veterans, will be managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and will offer hunting opportunities for deer, turkeys and small game, such as squirrels.

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