Politics

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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Politics
9:49 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Citing Bleak Economic Outlook, Beshear Pushes for More Tax Revenue for Education, Pensions

Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear is encouraging lawmakers to take bold stances in reforming the state's tax code,  before past budget decisions and cuts cripple Kentucky.

Beshear made the pleas Wednesday night in his annual State of the Commonwealth address.

(Read the State of the Commonwealth address.)

The speech focused on the state's lack of revenue—and how reforming the tax code would allow enough new money to solve the state's pension problems, plus increase funding for education.

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Politics
6:16 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally in Frankfort

Perry Clark
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — Saying the push for industrial help may help their  cause in the future, supporters of a bill establishing a comprehensive system for medical marijuana in Kentucky rallied Wednesday in the Capitol Annex.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Celebration Honors Hackett, Hudson as Black Leaders

State Sen. Gerald Neal and Wilbur Louis Hackett Jr.
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—  Kentucky legislators and community leaders on Wednesday honored an athlete and an academic during the 10th annual Black History Month Celebration at the Capitol.

The 2013 Black History Month celebration honoree was Wilbur Louis Hackett Jr., a groundbreaking football player. He was also the 2011 Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame inductee who state Sen. Gerald Neal, of Louisville, said "epitomizes all that is good about sports."

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Politics
3:50 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Indiana Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill Gets First Hearing

Wikipedia

Indiana lawmakers held a lengthy hearing today on a bill that would allow Sunday retail alcohol sales.

The measure before the House Public Policy Committee would broaden a state law that currently restricts Sunday sales to restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries.

John Elliott spoke on behalf of the Kroger Company and the Indiana Retail Council Board.   He says customers are being inconvenienced, retailers are losing money and the state is missing out on tax revenue under the current law.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Pension Bill Passes Senate Committee, House Still Has Hang-ups

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — An effort to reform Kentucky's underfunded pension systems passed in its first hearing Wednesday from a state Senate committee meeting.

Senate Bill 2 stems from the recommendations of a legislative task force that met over the summer to try and solve the pension problems.

It includes a suspension of cost of living adjustments and creates a new hybrid plan that acts like a 401K with a promised rate of return.

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