Politics

Politics
6:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Democrats Halt Resolution Requesting Ethics Commission Be Given Subpoena Powers

After a 30-minute debate, the Louisville Metro Council’s government accountability committee put off a vote asking state lawmakers to give the city’s ethics commission subpoena power.

The non-binding measure had bipartisan support initially with leaders on both sides of the aisle saying it made common sense. But during discussion, Democrats raised concerns that state lawmakers could give the commission too much power and that the council should deliver a more specific proposal.

Councilman Jerry Miller, R-19, is chairman of the committee and filed the resolution. He says he was surprised by the decision to table to measure because no council members objected to the matter beforehand, adding Democrats have sent a troubling message.

"The non-partisan metro council of Lexington is supporting passage of a resolution, which urges passage of this. Our partisan council in Louisville seem to have issues and it’s troubling, but we are where we are," he says.

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Politics
5:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Lawmakers Ready for Tax Reform Legislation, but Bill Unlikely This Session

Jerry Abramson
Credit File photo

Kentucky lawmakers seemed eager to dig into another tax reform bill this year, but the chair of the latest tax reform commission says reform isn't likely coming soon.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson—who chaired the commission—and Mary Lassiter, the secretary of the cabinet, addressed lawmakers on the budget committees about the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Rapists Couldn't Seek Child Custody from Victims Under Kentucky House Bill

Dennis Keene, left
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Women who produce children as a result of rape would not be obligated to share parental rights with their rapist under legislation filed Tuesday in the Kentucky House.

Kentucky, along with 34 other states, allows rapists to take their victims to court and seek these rights. 

Rep. Dennis Keene, who is sponsoring the bill, called the allowance a "loophole in Kentucky law." 

"I've got two daughters," said Keene, a Democrat from Wilder. "I wouldn't want any human being to go through that."

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Politics
2:53 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Vacant Properties Committee Goes Mobile, Seeks Input in West Louisville

The Metro Council ad hoc Vacant Properties Committee is holding a special meeting in west Louisville to hear from community groups and neighborhood leaders.

Committee members are specifically looking to spotlight organizations with small budgets, and are urging groups to make 2 to 3 minute presentations.

Vacant Properties Vice-Chair Attica Scott, D-1, says she wants to introduce the community to city initiatives related to abandoned and vacant properties, and give non-profits a chance to showcase their own ideas to lawmakers.

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Politics
1:41 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Gun Control Group Aims TV Ads at Mitch McConnell

A liberal group is attacking Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in a new television ad over his opposition to gun control measures.

The group Progressive Change Campaign Committee is launching the commercial, which will air in Kentucky and Washington, D.C. area. It features gun owner and former military marksman Rodney Kendrick from Berea, calling on McConnell to support a ban on assault weapons and background checks on gun purchases.

Watch:

"On pretty much every major issue Mitch McConnell sides with his big campaign contributors over everyday people in Kentucky," PCCC co-founder Adam Green told WFPL. "Right now the gun debate is front and center, and therefore we’re elevating the fact that after the gun industry has spent (hundreds of thousands of dollars) to elect Mitch McConnell. He is opposing the will of the people in Kentucky and basic things like background checks to buy a gun."

In response McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton condemned the commercial, adding PCCC is far outside the mainstream of Kentucky voters and is backed by liberal billionaire George Soros.

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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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