Politics

Politics
4:18 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Chief Justice John Minton Rules Out Furloughs, but Warns of More Budget Cuts to Courts

John Minton
Credit Kentucky Supreme Court

After a year of budget cuts to Kentucky's court system, Chief Justice John Minton said furloughs won't happen in the next year, but he is asking lawmakers to find more money for the state’s judicial branch.

Kentucky's judicial branch will face more cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, though, Minton said in his annual address to the interim judicial committee.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Lawmaker Withdraws Indiana Tort Bill Pushed by Pence

A tort reform measure from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's first-year agenda has gone down in defeat amid opposition in a key Senate committee.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph said today he was withdrawing the proposal that would make the losers of lawsuits pay all legal fees because it was unlikely to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure sparked controversy when it was first submitted earlier this month. Pence didn't include the proposal in his campaign "roadmap" and has declined to comment on it in multiple interviews.

Politics
1:27 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Industrial Hemp Gets New Kentucky Supporter: Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Updated: Joining his fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell now supports industrial hemp. 

 

In a statement released Thursday, McConnell said Paul and Comer—both Republicans, like McConnell—have convinced him that growing hemp for paper, oil and other purposes would be an economic boon for Kentucky farmers.

 

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Politics
10:50 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Ranks No. 4 on Conservative Think Tank's Scorecard

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
Credit U.S. Senate

The sister organization of the Heritage Foundation released its congressional scorecard this week, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is among the top-ranked lawmakers.

The Heritage Action for America focuses on a variety of issues on conservative agenda, and is considered a source for constituents to rate if lawmaker's votes match their rhetoric.

Among the 29 members of Congress in the "Sentinel status" of 90 percent or higher, Paul received a 96 percent approval rating from the group.

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Politics
4:45 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Abramson: Tax Reform Legislation Not Likely This Session, Best Chance May be 2014

The head of Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission says he thinks the prospects for tax reform are good — but they're unlikely to be approved during the current legislative session.

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson spoke in Bowling Green today about his commission's 54 proposed changes to the state's tax code.

He says he thinks the best time to take on the issue, if not in a special session later this year, would be the 2014 General Assembly session.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

MoveOn, United Kentucky Tea Party Dismiss McConnell Campaign's Infiltration Charge

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Liberal and Tea Party groups are denying claims by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign that they are working together to defeat the GOP leader in 2014.

In a campaign fundraising e-mail Monday, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton told supporters that liberal organizers were "attempting to infiltrate conservative" groups across the state.

A previous message accused MoveOn.org of backing a "phony Tea Party" in an attempt to hurt McConnell in a primary race.

But MoveOn spokesman Nick Berning says they are not working with any Tea Party groups in Kentucky, and that they will seek to defeat McConnell in a general election.

"It's understandable that Mitch McConnell is frightened to face voters in 2014, and his focus on MoveOn members' electoral might is well founded, but his fantasy that we have teamed up with the Tea Party to elect someone even more out of touch than him is ridiculous," he says. "MoveOn's nearly 70,000 members in Kentucky are tired of McConnell carrying water for Wall Street and leading the 'Party of No' at the expense of poor and middle class families, and he should expect we will hold him accountable for it—in the general election."

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Politics
2:46 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Hearing Delayed on Indiana Specialty License Plates Bill

Indianapolis Youth Group

An Indiana legislative committee has delayed a hearing on a bill that would place new limits on specialty license plates.

Rep. Ed Soliday's proposal would create an eight-member bipartisan panel to review requests from nonprofit groups and universities for specialty plates. The Republican says state roads are crowded with so many different plates that it's difficult for police to identify vehicles.

Soliday delayed a hearing of the House Transportation Committee Wednesday to review amendments filed to the bill.

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Politics
2:08 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Courier-Journal Poll: Majority of Kentuckians Support Expanded Gambling

Credit Creative Commons

 A recently released poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians favor the expansion of gambling in the state.

Sixty percent of Kentuckians said they support expansion when asked a broad yes or no question about it, The Courier-Journal’s Bluegrass Poll said. 

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Politics
1:27 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Report: Kentucky Tax System Unbalanced On Backs of the Poor

Credit Creative Commons

A new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows a big gap between Kentucky’s income levels on who pays taxes.

The report says Kentucky’s top 1 percent income bracket pays roughly 5 percent of the state’s income, while the bottom 20 percent pays 9 percent.

(Read the report here.)

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Politics
1:15 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Sen. Joe Donnelly Opposes Obama's Assault Weapons Ban

Joe Donnelly
Credit Donnelly Campaign

Freshman Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is opposing a ban on assault weapons sought by President Barack Obama.

A Donnelly spokesman told The Associated Press Wednesday that the Indiana lawmaker will vote against the ban but has not decided whether he would support universal background checks.

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