KY Legislature Regs on Relationships; Bevin/McConnell; JCPS Tests; Health Exchanges: Byline 9/27/13

Here are the topics covered in this edition of Byline (full audio link below):

At the top – Federal agencies have been preparing for the possibility of a shutdown should Congress fail to pass a temporary spending bill. At the heart of the gridlock is an effort by House Republicans to remove funding for the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans are divided on how to proceed.  Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he doesn’t want to fund Obamacare either, but won’t vote for any measures or procedural moves, like a filibuster, that would cause a government shutdown. This has become an issue in the campaign for McConnell’s seat.  He’s running for re-election next year and has a primary opponent, Matt Bevin, who been openly critical of McConnell’s position on this. WFPL political editor Phillip M. Bailey tells us the details.

6:50 – This week, freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas held a 21 hour 19 minute filibuster on the Senate floor over the defunding of the Affordable Care Act. We hear a lot about filibusters or the threat of filibusters to hold up legislation, but what exactly is it and how does it work?  To help explain this parliamentary tactic we check in with University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton.

11:00 – The long-awaited results of Kentucky’s school accountability tests are in.  WFPL education reporter Devin Katayama has been analyzing the scores, especially those from Jefferson County Public  Schools, and we review some of the data with him.

16:30 – Kentucky will join the rest of the nation next Tuesday in a monumental step that some hope will improve the healthcare system in America. The state’s Health Insurance Exchange is preparing to open to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Kentuckians. People will be able to go online and compare and shop for insurance they’ll be expected to have, or else they’ll eventually pay a penalty. Janie Miller is CEO for the Kentucky Health Cooperative. It was formed out of the law and will act as one of several insurance providers people can choose from. She speaks with WFPL’s Devin Katayama.

22:00 – Recent allegations of sexual harassment at the Kentucky State Capitol have some lawmakers and statehouse workers calling for a change in policy regarding workplace relationships. They say the lack of specific rules governing personal relationships between legislators and subordinates who work in the Legislative Research Commission has fostered a culture of sexual harassment. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting at Louisville Public Media has been looking into the Capitol workplace environment, and we check in with R.G. Dunlop.

26:05 – Writer and social justice activist Janet Mock will be at the University of Louisville on Oct. 3, as the keynote speaker for Pride Week on campus. Mock started the social justice project “Girls Like Us” to spotlight the stories of transgender women. She speaks to Jaison Gardner and Kaila Story, hosts of WFPL's Strange Fruit podcast, about what drew her to activism.

31:30 – When you think about school science fair projects, you might think of baking soda volcanos or Styrofoam models of the planets. More to the point, that’s what a lot of students think of – and what they enter – in science fairs. But to a lot of real scientists, projects like that are a missed opportunity. They say that rather than just building models, children as young as eight or ten can do actual science and discover new things. Adam Hochberg reports, part of the STEM Story Project — distributed by PRX and made possible with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

37:15 – WFPL arts and humanities reporter Erin Keane highlights a few events around town this weekend (new production from Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, a new exhibit by Andrew Marsh, and the Louisville Mini-Maker Faire).  She then speaks with IdeaFestival speaker Kevin Smokler, author of “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Re-Read 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School.”

 

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