Politics

Politics
4:27 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Legislative Fix to 2012 Pill Mill Bill Passes House Judiciary Committee

Credit File photo

A bill addressing problems with last year's prescription pill mill bill has cleared the House Judiciary Committee.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is sponsoring the bill, which reduces some tough regulations that followed the pill mill bill.  The legislation, House Bill 217, requires hospitals and long term care facilities to still pull KASPER reports, but lessens other regulations on them

Stumbo told lawmakers that the bill would help codify easier regulations that were recently published and that the effort to crackdown on prescription pill abuse was effective.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

State Senator Perry Clark Lauds Hemp, Pot Poll Results

State Sen. Perry Clark rallies for medical marijuana bill
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

State Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, is touting a Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, which shows broad support for industrial hemp and medical marijuana.

The survey finds 65 percent of Kentuckians support hemp and 60 percent favor using the drug for prescription use. Clark filed a measure dubbed the "Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act" that would move cannabis to the list of prescription drugs to treat illnesses.

Supporters rallied for the proposal earlier this year, but it faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Clark says he hopes fellow state lawmakers are paying attention to national trends and the shift in public opinion among Kentuckians.

"Clearly we’re forming a cannabis majority in this nation. You know 19 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, at least two states have gone total recreational and eight other states have passed industrial hemp," he says. "It’s time for us to think forward and realize this is not the top problem that we’re having in Kentucky."

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Politics
1:24 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Kentucky Head Start, Child Care and Education Programs Facing Sequester Cuts, White House says

Credit White House

The automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect on Friday would pare several Kentucky programs that help families, including a child-care subsidy program that state officials have already cut back, says a state-by-state study from the White House.

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Politics
10:29 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Gun Control Group Continues Ad Campaign Against Mitch McConnell

Credit U.S. Senate

Progressive Change Campaign Committee has launched a new ad criticizing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over proposed gun control measures.

This is the second spot by the group to target McConnell, and like the previous ad it features a Kentucky gun owner and military veteran who supports a ban on assault weapons.

Watch:

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Politics
9:30 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Budget, Gaming Bills Among Many Moving Through Indiana Legislature

Credit File photo

A state budget and measures affecting schools and the gaming industry are on the long list of proposals still to be considered by the Indiana General Assembly.

The budget being crafted by GOP lawmakers who control the House does not include an income tax cut pushed by fellow Republican Gov. Mike Pence, but they say they’ll revisit Pence’s proposal after getting an updated economic forecast in April.

The plan would instead use the tax cut money to boost spending on education and transportation.

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Politics
7:30 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Mayor Greg Fischer: Poll Validates Local Option Sales Tax Push

Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

A new Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows an overwhelming number of Kentuckians favor a constitutional amendment that would allow city residents to vote on whether to raise the state sales tax.

The survey found 72 percent of voters support the proposal, while 19 percent are opposed and another 9 percent are not sure. But legislative leaders from both parties in Frankfort have spoken out against the measure, preferring tax reform or raising other fees for special projects.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told WFPL the poll shows residents are behind the idea and he will continue to lobby state lawmakers.

"I’ve been talking to legislators in Frankfort along with other mayors and county judges from around the state to show them that there is in fact strong support at the grassroots level and we hope Frankfort will be listening to the people," he says.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Auditor Adam Edelen Concerned With Kentucky's Cyber Security; Vows to Monitor

Credit Elvert Barnes/Creative Commons

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen found a dozen issues with the state's cyber security efforts in the 2011-12 fiscal year—and he's vowing to closely monitor the state's measures in that area in the coming months.

The findings were reported in Edelen's statewide audit, in which he gave the state an "unqualified or clean" opinion of the state's finances.

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Politics
10:28 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Noise and Notes: Congressman John Yarmuth

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth is the lone Democrat in Kentucky’s federal delegation.

That makes Yarmuth the only liberal voice arguably in the region, and the lawmaker that the Obama administration confers with over potential federal appointments in the state.

Now in his fifth term in Congress, Yarmuth is the co-sponsor of a number of progressive bills, including campaign finance reforms and gun control measures.

But since 2010, he has been in the minority railing against the Republican-controlled House.

In terms of politics, Yarmuth has been the chief cheerleader for Ashley Judd, who is the rumored top-contender to run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Bill Dealing With Medicaid Late Payments Has Support in Senate

Julie Denton
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

A bill  moving Medicaid late payment claims to the Department of Insurance appears to have some support in the state Senate.

House Bill 5 would take prompt pay issues with the Medicaid managed care system and put it through the Insurance Department's current claims process. Currently, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services deal with late claims.

Sen. Julie Denton, chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said she plans to give the bill a hearing and supports the bill's attempts to make managed care organizations pay providers.

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Politics
2:55 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Council Democrats, Republicans Launch Social Media Pages

The caucus staff for the Louisville Metro Council Democrats and Republicans have created social media pages to better reach constituents.

Currently, a handful of city lawmakers have official Facebook and Twitter accounts where they update their ordinances and district events.

Others use their personal website to update on their council work, but most have not signed on to social networking to reach out to constituents.

Democratic Caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt says the technology is a good way to let residents know what’s on their agenda, and that more lawmakers will be logging on soon.

"I think the goal is to eventually bring everybody along. You know as well as I do there are some folks who were a little late to the game in understanding how social media operates. Our goal is to get the information out of what’s going on with the caucus, meeting notifications, letting them know about progress reports on certain things," he says.

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