Politics

Politics
11:18 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Special Taxing Districts Reform Sails Through Kentucky State House

Credit File photo

A bill reforming how the state's special districts are categorized and making them more transparent easily passed the state House this morning, 96-1.

State Rep. Lynn Belcher, a Republican from Crittenden County, was the lone "no" vote. 

Many local library boards, sewer districts and fire districts are considered special taxing districts separate from other types of government.

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Politics
6:20 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

State Senate Passes Pension Reform Recommendations

Credit File photo

The Kentucky state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would reform the majority of the state's pension system, 33-5. 

Senate Bill 2 reflects the recommendations of the legislative task force assigned to study possible solutions to the problem over the summer.

Cost of living adjustments would be suspended under the bill. The bill would also create a hybrid plan similar to a 401K whose rate of return would be guaranteed by the state.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Greg Stumbo Files Bill Aimed at Speeding Up Medicaid's Late Payment Process

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a bill to move complaints about late payments in Kentucky's Medicaid system from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Department of Insurance.

Health care providers—such as hospitals and doctor's offices— have complained about severely late payments since the managed care system started. Currently, the cabinet deals those issues that arise when one of the state's Medicaid operating companies delays payment to a health provider.

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Politics
4:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Judge Dismisses Shanklin Suit Against Mayor’s Office to Halt Ethics Case

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Government

A Jefferson Circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office filed by embattled Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, that sought to halt an ethics case against her.

The suit alleged Fischer violated Kentucky’s open records law because his office refused to provide documents explaining what authority the mayor had to close an upholstery program Shanklin sponsored.

Shanklin’s attorney Aubrey Williams asked for a temporary injunction in the ethics case until the records were produced. But Judge Audra Eckerle ruled the councilwoman would not be harmed if the ethics proceedings continued.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

House Passes Bill Allowing for University Capital Projects 97-1

Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington.
Credit J. Glover/Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — A proposal to allow six of Kentucky's  public universities to start more than $360 million in infrastructure projects overwhelming passed the House today, 97-1. 

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Politics
2:57 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Won't Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Amendment This Year

Indiana's Republican House and Senate leaders will wait a year before they take up an effort to write the state's gay marriage ban into the constitution.

House Speaker Brian Bosma  and Senate President Pro Tem David Long said today  that their respective caucuses decided the issue should wait until the 2014 session.

Long and Bosma have said they are apprehensive of taking on the issue before the Supreme Court rules on related cases this summer. Social conservatives in the House and Senate had pressed them to tackle the issue this year.

Politics
2:16 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Statewide Smoking Ban Bill Clears House Committee

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky is one step closer to enacting a statewide smoking ban after legislation sailed Thursday through the House Committee on Health and Welfare.

House Bill 190, sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom, a Democrat of Lexington, would prohibit smoking in public places and places of employment.

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Politics
2:01 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Nursing Home Group Launches Ads in Support of Medical Review Bill

Groups supporting  a bill creating medical panels to review allegations of nursing home abuse are taking their cause to the airwaves.

The Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities this week released a 60 second television radio ad, urging people to support Senate Bill 9.

The group is made up of nursing homes who want the review panels—which is called for in Senate Bill 9— as a safeguard against what they call overreaching trial lawyers.

The ad takes aim directly at the lawyers.

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Politics
12:50 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Child Advocates Rally, Urge Kentucky Leaders to Restore Cut Child Care Funding

Credit Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — Advocates for Kentucky children on Thursday called for state leaders to provide funds and stave off recently announced cuts to programs that provide assistance for child care costs and to family members who take in young relatives.

The calls were made Thursday at the ninth annual Children Advocacy Day rally, which organizers estimated more than 1,000 people joined. Because of the crowd's size, the rally was moved from the Capitol Rotunda to outside.

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Politics
12:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Bill Addressing Gun Violence in Kentucky

Mary Lou Marzian
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Hoping to reduce gun violence in Kentucky, a group of Democratic lawmakers have filed a bill  that would allow Kentucky State Police to set regulations banning certain firearms or high-capacity magazines.

The bill, which state Sen. Kathy Stein plans to file in the Senate on Thursday, would also allow cities and colleges to regulate guns and would require private background checks  for every gun sale in Kentucky.

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