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Politics
12:51 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Call 2013 Session A Success

Robert Stivers and Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they're proud of the 2013, with legislators having accomplished pension reforms, cleaned up other bills and passed others dealing with hemp, special taxing district and military voting.

Many of the legislature's top priorities were passed in the 30-day session, although most of them were hatched as last minutes deals in the waning days of the session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the 2013 session may have been his proudest in more than a decade.

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Environment
11:26 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Final Sustainability Plan Includes Bigger Goals, Tighter Deadlines

Mayor Greg Fischer has released the final version of the city’s sustainability plan, and it has several more ambitious goals and initiatives than the draft version.

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Environment
10:24 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Read the Final Version of Louisville Sustainability Plan

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has released the final version of the city's sustainability plan. We'll have more on it later, but here it is in the meantime.

Education
7:45 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Stories of Dropping Out: 'My Brothers Really Listened To Me'

Credit Creative Commons

Marcus McCormick sacrificed his own education for his brothers, sometimes stealing food from grocery stores to feed his hungry family. But after he dropped out of school and left home his brothers stopped going to school.

This is the second in a series of stories WFPL is airing over the next month profiling former public school students that left school before graduating. The series sheds light on the personal narratives behind statistics and data media often report. 

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Politics
1:26 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Amended Hemp Bill Passes Kentucky Legislature; Comer OK With Result

James Comer
Credit File photo

Kentucky lawmakers have achieved a compromise that would set up a regulatory framework should the federal government legalize industrial hemp.

The so-called hemp bill—Senate Bill 50—gives control of licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission, but allow the Kentucky State Police to do background checks on the farmers.

The state Department of Agriculture would be given many administrative roles for licensing hemp farmers and the University of Kentucky would be charged with researching the issue.

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Politics
1:06 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Deal Reached on Kentucky Military Voting Legislation, Passes in Final Minutes of Session

Credit Creative Commons

Kentucky military personnel serving overseas will be able to get ballots electronically under legislation approved late Tuesday in the Kentucky General Assembly. How they send them back is still to be determined.

Working until the last minute of the 2013 session, legislators went back to the original Senate version of the military voting bill that allowed for electronic sending of ballots to overseas military, but snail mail return of the ballot.

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Local News
10:01 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

U of L, UK Reach Women's NCAA Sweet Sixteen Round

The Louisville Cards and Kentucky Wildcats are both headed to the third round of the women’s NCAA basketball tournament.

Second-seeded UK advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a 84-70 victory tonight over Dayton.     The Wildcats will face Delaware, a number six seed, Saturday in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Fifth-seeded U of L made it to the third round with a 76-63 win over Purdue at the KFC Yum Center.

Politics
9:53 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Lawmakers Approve Litany of Alcohol Bills, Including Sales on Election Day

Kentuckians in wet and moist counties may soon be able to buy alcohol on election days.

 The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed Senate Bill 13, sponsored by State Senator John Schickel, a Republican from Union. Under the bill, small businesses and tourist destinations along Kentucky's Bourbon trail would also be able to stay open during election days.

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Politics
8:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

General Assembly Overrides Gov. Steve Beshear's Veto of 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Credit File photo

In a sweeping bipartisan vote, both chambers of the General Assembly overturned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s veto of the controversial religious freedom bill.

Earlier this week, the House Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to hold a secret ballot, which ultimately favored bringing the measure back to the House floor.

After a half hour of debate, the House rejected the gubernatorial veto by an overwhelming 79-15 margin.

Supporters of the legislation affirmed it does not undermine anyone’s civil rights protections, and only safeguards First Amendment rights.

"There have been attempts to take God out of everything," says state Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, who supported the bill. "They want to take God out of the pledge of allegiance, can you believe that? You don't think your religious freedom is under attack? Then maybe you do believe in a boogeyman."

The law allows individuals the right to act or refuse to act on any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith. Opponents have rallied for weeks, arguing it could allow for residents to disregard civil rights protections such as local Fairness laws protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens.

Those who lobbied for the House to override Beshear's veto denied those accusations vehemently, however.

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Politics
8:14 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Kentucky General Assembly Passes Pension Bills, Avert Special Session

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — Kentucky's legislative leaders have passed two bills to shore up the state's underfunded pension systems, effectively staving off a special session on the issue.

The new plan would reduce a personal tax credit of $20 to $10, generating about $33 million in revenue that would go to General Fund, but lawmakers would use it for pensions. The plan would also use revenue from technical changes in the state's tax code, as well as money from federal tax changes.

Overall, the plan would generate $96 million in the 2015 fiscal year and $100 million in 2016 fiscal year.

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