Politics

Politics
6:00 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Mitch McConnell Leads Ashley Judd 49-40 in New Poll

Mitch McConnell and Ashley Judd

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leads actress Ashley Judd by nine percentage points, according to new poll released Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by RunSwitch & Harper Polling, which was co-founded by Republican strategist Scott Jennings of Kentucky.

It has a 3.3 percent margin of error and surveyed 850 likely voters.

Besides a near 10-point lead for McConnell, the firm shows the GOP leader with 60 percent support among Republican primary voters versus "someone else."

Those figures differ from previous polls showing McConnell struggling amongst his base.

"My takeaways from the survey are that Senator McConnell is in solid-shape among Republicans and general election voters, and that Ashley Judd, for someone who has never run for office, already has a tough hole out of which to climb regarding her own image," Jennings said in a online statement.

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Politics
5:26 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Bill Clears Indiana Senate Panel

The Indiana Senate Public Health Committee is advancing a proposal to expand Medicaid using the state's health savings account plan.

The panel voted 9-3 today to request that the federal government allow Indiana to use its Healthy Indiana Plan to cover the roughly 400,000 residents who would qualify under an expansion.

The measure, which has the backing of Gov. Mike Pence, now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.   A similar proposal has been introduced in the House.

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Politics
5:13 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Kentucky House Committee Backs Automatic Collection of DNA From Felony Suspects

Credit Creative Commons

Legislation to allow the automatic collection of DNA samples from felony suspects easily won committee approval Wednesday in the Kentucky House.

The DNA would be gathered with a cheek swab. It would be tested and results recorded, so it could be used to identify suspects in other cases. 

The House Judiciary Committee heard from Jayann Sepich, whose daughter Katie was raped and murdered in 2003 near her New Mexico home. She says this simple process has the power to quickly punish the guilty and heal the harm they’ve done.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Councilman Rick Blackwell Pulls Support for Insurance Premium Tax Hike

Democratic Councilman Rick Blackwell
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, is pulling his support of an ordinance to help pay for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund by raising the city’s tax on insurance premiums.

The proposal was introduced by Democratic lawmakers this week, and seeks to increase the tax by one percentage point to raise an estimated $9.7 million.

Supporters argue going from a 5 to 6 percent rate represents a small increase per month for average residents.

In an e-mail message sent Feb. 11 to Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9—the bill's chief sponsor—the Jefferson County attorney’s office said it is "unconstitutional" to designate public funding exclusively for affordable housing

Any new revenue would have to go through the general fund first, and that is unraveling the bill's support.

"I think it’s problematic if it’s not a dedicated source. That’s what people had signed on for," says Blackwell. "It was supposed to be a way to take care of some of the issues in our neighborhoods with the abandoned and foreclosed on homes. And if it’s not dedicated to that I think you’ll have a hard time keeping sponsors and keeping people on board to vote for it."

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Politics
12:38 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Senate Committee Backs Bill Requiring Kentucky Medicaid Providers to Publish Prescription Prices

Credit Melanie Tata/Creative Commons

A bill requiring Kentucky Medicaid managed care operators publish a list of prescriptions and reimbursement prices on Wednesday passed a state Senate committee, following prodding from  independent pharmacists asking for access to pricing standards before they fill prescriptions.

The group of independent pharmacists told lawmakers that they are still having trouble with reimbursements from the state's Medicaid managed care operators. And they said they were also still being dramatically undercut on prescription reimbursements when they did receive them.

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Politics
12:19 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Indiana Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill Won't Get Vote

Wikipedia

The chairman of an Indiana House committee says the panel won't vote on a bill that would end Indiana's longtime ban on Sunday retail alcohol sales.

House Public Policy Chairman Bill Davis says he's decided against holding a committee vote on the measure.    Davis' decision means Indiana residents who want to buy carry-out alcohol on Sundays will have to wait at least another year.

Politics
1:32 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Marco Rubio, Rand Paul Warn Obama Against Tax Increases, Spending

Republicans warned Tuesday that President Barack Obama's second-term agenda would bring more tax increases and escalate deficit spending, casting the president's policies as impediments to middle-class families he championed during his re-election campaign.

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Politics
1:32 am
Wed February 13, 2013

In State of the Union, Obama Tells Congress: With or Without You

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:09 am

President Obama called repeatedly on Congress to address issues of paramount importance to the country during his State of the Union address Tuesday. But he also made it clear that when Congress fails to act or agree with his policies, he intends to push ahead on his own.

As is traditional for a State of the Union speech, Obama called on Congress to send legislation to his desk addressing not just immigration, gun control and the budget but a range of policy areas including women's rights, industrial policy and relief for homeowners.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Kentucky State Senate OKs Alcohol Sales on Election Day

Credit File photo

The Kentucky State Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would remove the prohibition of alcohol sales on election days while polls are open.

The bill wouldn't supersede the authority of dry counties in determining alcohol availability—but areas that wanted to continue the prohibition of election day alcohol sales could vote to do so.

One aim of the bill: Business that rely on alcohol sales—and also tourist destinations along Kentucky's Bourbon Trail—would be allowed to remain open on election days.

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Politics
3:17 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Bill Increasing Kentucky Booster Seat Height Requirements Passes House Committee

Credit Creative Commons

Seeking to curb child fatalities on Kentucky roads, a state House committee approved a bill  increasing children's height requirement for booster seats.

House Bill 282 would require children to use a booster seat while riding in a motor vehicle until they reach 57 inches or the age 9. Currently, children must use booster seats until they reach 53 inches or age 7.

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