Politics

Politics
1:31 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Special Taxing Districts Reforms Filed, Moving Quickly in Frankfort

Adam Edelen
Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — Efforts to reform Kentucky's laws for more than 1,000 special taxing districts—such as library boards, fire districts and sewer districts— are quickly moving this week  in the General Assembly.

The reforms were filed Tuesday as House Bill 1—which typically denotes a top priority for legislative leaders— and would create an online registry to list the special districts and their required financial paperwork. It stems from a partnership between  between state Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

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Politics
12:50 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

President Obama to Discuss Spending Cuts, Tax Reform; WFPL to Carry Special Coverage

President Obama
Credit White House

President Obama will hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss fiscal matters. WFPL will carry NPR's live special coverage  starting at 1 p.m.

NPR says:

Officials tell the White House press corps that the president "will call on Congress to pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms to avoid the economically harmful consequences of the sequester for a few months." He's scheduled to issue that call around 1:15 p.m. ET.

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Politics
12:26 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Broadband Advocates Revive Bill That Removes Land Line Requirement

Credit Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — Advocates for more wireless and broadband options in Kentucky will once again push a bill reforming the state's telecommunications laws—specifically, removing language that requires old-school land-line service throughout the state.

Citizens for a Digital Future unveiled the legislation today, which is sponsored by state Sen. Paul Hornback, a Republican from Shelbyville.

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Politics
5:29 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin Sues Mayor Greg Fischer Over Upholstery Program Records

Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has filed suit against Mayor Greg Fischer's office.

Shanklin, D-2, is seeking public records regarding an upholstery program for ex-offenders that her office funded, which is part of a recent ethics investigation against her.

In September 2012, Shanklin requested records related to Fischer's "involvement in the investigation," and what authority the mayor's office had to close the program.

The councilwoman alleges the mayor is violating the state's open records law and depriving her of evidence needed for her defense in the ethics case.

"Basically we asked for what authority or rule or policy the mayor relied on to terminate the upholstery program," says attorney Aubrey Williams, who is representing Shanklin.

Williams is requesting the ethics commission delay its ruling until this matter is settled.

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Politics
5:16 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Indiana House Passes Online Sales Tax Bill

Amazon.com and other online-only retailers would have to start collecting Indiana's 7 percent sales tax this summer under a bill approved overwhelmingly by the Indiana House.

The bill approved by a 79-18 vote today would negate an agreement between Amazon and former Gov. Mitch Daniels that gave the company until next year to start charging the sales tax.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Councilwoman Marilyn Parker to Tea Party: Don't Play 'Russian Roulette' With Mitch McConnell's Seat

Credit Parker campaign

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18, is urging fellow Tea Party activists to think twice before taking on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

McConnell opened his re-election headquarters in Louisville over the weekend, and promised a vigorous campaign. In recent weeks, more than a dozen Tea Party groups from around the state have warned they are lining up an opponent to take on the GOP leader.

Parker attend the opening and told WFPL many in the Tea Party are upset with McConnell's leadership, particularly when it comes to federal spending.

But the East End Republican says McConnell’s position is too important to risk, and that he has stood up against President Obama's agenda in Washington.

"I think we are at a very tenuous time in the country, and it’s important that’s not jeopardized at this time,” she says.

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Politics
1:53 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Indiana "Right to Hunt" Proposal Advances

A proposal to amend Indiana’s constitution to guarantee residents the right to hunt, fish and farm has cleared a legislative committee.

The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 7-0 today to advance the measure, which now goes to the full Senate.

The proposal is sponsored by Republican Sen. Brent Steele, who says hunting and farming are being threatened by animal-rights activists and other groups.

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Politics
12:35 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Christian Health-Sharing Bill Gaining Support

Kentucky Senate Republicans are rallying around a bill to allow a Christian health-sharing organization to continue operating in Kentucky.

Christian Care Medi-share collects dues from members, then uses those funds to pay other members' health bills. Last year, the Department of Insurance successfully argued in court that  Medi-share should be regulated like other insurance companies.  The decision effectively ended the program in Kentucky.

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Politics
10:48 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Congressman Todd Young's Vietnam Veteran Ad Wins National Award

A campaign TV ad aired by Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young won the Reed Award for Best Republican Congressional Candidate Ad during the 2012 election cycle.

From Young's office:

The ad, titled "Not All", focused on the successful efforts of Rep. Young's office to get the name of David "Larry" Deckard inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

The ad and background story can be seen at http://toddyoungforcongress.com/deckard.

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Politics
8:40 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Proposes Fair Elections Now Act

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has introduced a bill that seeks to diminish the influence of special interest groups.

The Fair Elections Now Act—or FENA —would create a public financing system for congressional races by providing a 5-to-1 federal match of contributions smaller than $100. In order to qualify, candidates would have to raise $50,000 through those small, in-state contributions.

Yarmuth says the legislation would enable more diverse candidates who are funded by small donations to compete in federal elections.

"The American people have ample evidence of the unfortunate influence of money on politics and policy. And FENA is an attempt to allow people to run for office and not be dependent upon big donors and therefore be primarily answerable to citizens and not to special interests," he says.

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