Politics

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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Politics
1:57 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

City Leaders, Boy Scouts of America Unveil New After School Program

The Boy Scouts of America is forming a partnership with Louisville Metro Government for a new after school pilot program to help at-risk youth and teach them needed skills to deal with drugs and violence.

Mayor Greg Fischer and other city officials unveiled the NOVA Center on Monday, which will involve the Boy Scouts, Jefferson County Public Schools and Metro Parks in the California neighborhood.

It will take in more than three dozen student from Wheatley Elementary, who will be recommended from the schools' family resource center. NOVA will offer math and science tutoring, as well as life skills and mentoring on how to avoid alcohol, drug abuse and bullying.

Fischer says the task of combating violence starts with the youngest children, but it won’t be successful unless everyone participates.

"And so the Boy Scouts stepping up here should really be applauded. It’s a way they’re going to be directly affecting the lives of these kids one student at a time. And whether you look at 55,000 degrees or 15,000 degrees, people often say ‘how can you get it done?’ And I give them the same answer: you get it done one student at a time. It’s not easy," he says.

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Politics
9:29 am
Mon March 4, 2013

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to Speak at UofL's McConnell Center

Marco Rubio
Credit Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will speak later this month at the University of Louisville via the McConnell Center.

Rubio, elected to the Senate from Florida in 2010, gave the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address and is an oft-mentioned contender for the GOP's 2016 presidential nomination.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Libertarian Party Leader Says Members Open to Supporting Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd
Credit Creative Commons

  The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky says his members could be persuaded to vote for Ashley Judd over Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, but the Hollywood actress needs to distance herself from President Obama.

Judd has met with Democratic donors in Louisville and courted state leaders such as Gov. Steve Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, in recent weeks.

Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman says he isn't sure if they are running a challenger in 2014. But his members would need to know more about Judd’s fiscal views first, adding there is some agreement with the actress's social views such as same-sex marriage.

"From a libertarian perspective on the gay marriage issue, we tend to take more of the approach that the government shouldn’t be sanctioning marriage anyway. The relationship between two people does not need government involved. I don’t need to ask the government if this guy can be my friend or ‘hey, can I move in with this person’,” he says.

Judd is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage and abortion, and recently gave a speech on women's reproductive rights in Washington, D.C.

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