Politics

Politics
4:13 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Hundreds Rally in Frankfort for Disability Services

Hundreds of activists gathered today at the Kentucky State Capitol to rally and lobby lawmakers on behalf of the state’s disabled citizens.

One of them was Louisville resident Cherish Wolfe, who receives help at the the Bridgehaven Adult Day Treatment Center.    She’s urging more state support for services such as those Bridgehaven provides.

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Politics
3:40 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Bill Addressing Cargo Theft Dies in Kentucky Senate Committee

Legislation intended to crack down on cargo theft in Kentucky has died in the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure did not receive a second when a vote was called today (Tues)

Sponsored by state representative Denver Butler of Louisville, the bill would have increased penalties for thefts of property worth more than 500-dollars.

The director of security at UPS in Louisville testified for the bill.

Steve Hamm says organized crime is targeting truckloads of valuable pharmaceuticals as they move across the country.

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Politics
2:19 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents?

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Executive Director John J. Johnson
Credit Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Joining other civil rights group, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is urging Governor Steve Beshear to block a bill that would allow people to ignore laws and regulations violating their religious beliefs.

Last week, the Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly approved HB 279 by an 82-7 vote. It has now moved on the state Senate, where observers predict it is likely to pass in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Supporters say the bill strengthens the rights for people of faith and clarifies religious freedom in state law. But civil rights groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Fairness Campaign argue it will gut protections for women, racial minorities and gay residents.

John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, tells WFPL the commission agrees "wholeheartedly" with civil rights proponents, adding there is a potential risk for people to use their faith to discriminate.

"If this bill is adopted people can hide behind religious freedoms and discriminate in anyway they feel. They could say based on my religion I don’t think I should serve people based on interracial marriage. I don’t believe I should serve people because they are of a different religion," he says. "People can hide behind it in anyway, and it just makes it more difficult for the human rights agencies to pursue equality in our state."

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Politics
12:24 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Indiana Specialty License Plate Bill Close to Final Passage

Indiana Youth Group

Groups with specialty auto license plates would face new sales and financial reporting requirements under a proposal endorsed today by an Indiana Senate committee.

The bill would create an eight-member bipartisan panel to review requests from nonprofit groups and universities for specialty plates.

Bill author Rep. Ed Soliday says all groups with plates would have to sell at least 500 a year and undergo a financial review once a decade.

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Politics
11:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Beshear Signs Pill Mill Fix Legislation

Credit Melanie Tata/Creative Commons

  Gov. Steve Beshear signed on Tuesday legislation aimed at "fixing" 2012's crackdown on pill mills.

The so-called pill mill fix bill, House Bill 217, exempts hospitals and long term care facilities from constantly running prescribing reports on patients in their care.

But supporters of the bill, including House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Senate President Robert Stivers and Beshear said the new legislation doesn't weaken the 2012 efforts to tackle pill mills—pain clinics that abuse their prescription-writing authority for people seeking pain medication for recreational use.

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Politics
6:35 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Bill Granting Ethics Commission Subpoena Powers Passes House Panel

A bill giving the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission subpoena powers sailed through a state House committee on Monday.

In 2011, a report by the commission complained to the Metro Council about its inability to compel witnesses to testify. Last November, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, put that lack of power on display when she twice walked out of her ethics hearing at the instruction of her attorney.

From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said the bill was in response to alleged ethics violations of council members in Louisville.

SB 117 would give ethics committees administrative subpoena power to gather documents and compel witnesses to testify.

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Politics
5:21 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Comer Says Hemp Bill Will Get Vote Wednesday

Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

It looks like an industrial hemp bill will get a vote in the House Agriculture Committee after all.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Courier-Journal, Daily Caller Raise Questions Over Ashley Judd's Nude Scenes

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

If you were unaware, actress Ashley Judd is considering a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

It's a big deal given that the Hollywood star could be taking on not just any lawmaker, but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Critics have suggested Judd is too liberal, too close to President Obama and too anti-coal to run in Kentucky. And she still lives in Tennessee.

But this week a new narrative questions whether Judd has been too nude to run.

From The Courier-Journal:

"...Judd has bared her body in several movies.The question is, how does that effect her chances of winning election if she decides to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Lawmaker Wants to Return to Biennial Sessions

Kentucky should do away with annual sessions of the General Assembly because they haven’t worked the way they were supposed to--that’s the opinion of state Senator Bob Leeper, who is sponsoring legislation that would give voters a chance to repeal a constitutional amendment they approved more than a decade ago.

That amendment authorized the yearly gatherings and Leeper says it was sold to voters as a way to eliminate or reduce “special” sessions.

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Politics
3:59 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Statewide Smoking Ban Supporters Make Second Pitch to Kentucky Legislators

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the legislation this session.

The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.

This time, property rights and business rights were the main topic of questioning, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson told the committee that Kentucky's businesses have long supported smoking bans.

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