Politics

Politics
7:00 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Robert Stivers: Let's Exhaust Legal Appeals Before Reforming Liquor Laws

Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Work on reforming some of Kentucky’s liquor laws may wait until a federal appeals court rules on a current challenge.

A federal circuit judge threw out state laws dealing with where wine and distilled spirits can be sold, calling them unfair. Currently only select stores — such as liquor stores and pharmacies — can sell those beverages, while others — such as groceries — can only sell beer.

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Politics
10:32 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Noise and Notes: The Teachings and Legacy of Dr. J. Blaine Hudson

Dr. J. Blaine Hudson
Credit University of Louisville

The late Dr. J. Blaine Hudson spent his life dedicated to scholarship and community, and in the process became one of Louisville's most beloved natives.

Whether as a student activist, historian or University of Louisville dean, Hudson left a mark on everyone he encountered. The outpouring of grief and fond memories has been immense since his death last week at age 63.

Over the years Hudson stopped by WFPL on numerous occasions to show how the city's past informed its present and could potentially solve problems in the future.

He had a wealth of knowledge about theories on race, African-American history and Louisville's role in the Civil Rights Movement, and we have collected some of the best excerpts for one final class.

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Politics
3:30 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Kentucky Chamber Joins Hemp Supporters

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has landed a high-profile supporter for his efforts to legalize hemp in Kentucky.

The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, has come out in support of industrial hemp for oil and fiber, provided there is a sound regulatory process.

Many of the state’s federal lawmakers support the issue as well, including Congressmen Andy Barr, John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie and Senator Rand Paul.

A bill to legalize hemp was filed in the Kentucky Senate Friday by the  agriculture committee chair.

Politics
1:30 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Defends Vote Against Sandy Relief Funding

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Congress

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is responding to an attack by state Democratic Party Chair Dan Logsdon, who chastised freshman congressman for voting against federal relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

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Politics
11:17 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Undecided On Whether to Delay Redistricting

Kentucky legislative districts approved in 2002.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session.

Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.

“And we all have varying opinions on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done and one thing I don’t think we need to do is a special session,” he says.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

City Highlights Progress on Demolitions, Foreclosures of Vacant Properties

Joined by Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and other city officials, Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville Metro Government is increasing its efforts to tackle vacant and abandoned properties.

The demolition of abandoned properties went up by 30 percent in 2012, and city officials are aiming to foreclose on another 100 homes by June 30. According to different housing reports, Louisville has an estimated 7,000 vacant homes and approximately 1,300 of those are abandoned.

Fischer is spending $125,000 in the current city budget to file those foreclosures, and says the goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years and 67 percent over the next five.

"This is one of those projects that is so big it's easy just to throw up your hands and say it's been going on for decades, and we can't do anything about it. Well, I want to say that if you live next to an vacant or abandoned properties and the weeds are six feet tall, I can tell you that it is not an acceptable answer to say there's nothing we can do about this," he says.

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Politics
6:35 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Metro Council President Jim King Announces Committee Leaders for 2013

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, announced Thursday the chairs and vice chairs of the council's committees for 2013.

Along with the standing committees and two ad hoc panels created last year, King says a new Intergovernmental Committee will be formed. 

Councilman David Yates, D-25, suggested the creation of the new panel, which will work to strengthen the council's relationship and ties with state lawmakers in Frankfort and federal leaders Washington D.C.

"This  will work to build a relationship with our Jefferson County legislative delegation and make recommendations for change to our state governance statutes under (state) law that created merged government," King said in a news release. "I anticipate this committee will also work with the mayor’s office to review other statutes that affect Metro Louisville, such as local option taxes and federal issues as well."

The committee leaders are as follows:

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Politics
5:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Education Week Ranks Kentucky in its Top 10

Last year, Kentucky was 14th in the nation; In 2010 it was 34th, according to the report.
Courtesy of Education Week

Education Week, a national publication dedicated to education issues, has ranked Kentucky in the top ten on its annual Quality Counts report measuring education policy and achievement indicators.

The improvement in ranking was praised Thursday by Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday who credits the ranking in part to Senate Bill 1 and the state’s new accountability system.

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Politics
4:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

WHAS's Mandy Connell on Gun Registration: 'Why Don’t We Make Them Wear Yellow Stars'

WHAS radio host Mandy Connell

In a tense exchange over gun control, WHAS radio host Mandy Connell told Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., some regulations could be the first step in total citizen disarmament.

Yarmuth has co-sponsored a bill that would ban high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and is a proponent of other regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre.

In an on-air interview with Yarmuth on Thursday, Connell said responsible gun owners should also be concerned about further regulations, and compared attempts to register legal gun owners to the Nazi regime tagging Jewish Germans.

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Politics
2:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Coalition Rallies Against Big Changes to Kentucky Public Pensions

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Current Kentucky state employees and retirees packed the Capitol Rotunda to encourage lawmakers to rethink some proposals made by a task force on public pensions last year.

Calling themselves the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, the group of more than a dozen interested organizations encouraged their members to tell lawmakers not to switch to a hybrid pension plan for new hires and to reinstate cost of living adjustments every year.

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