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3:26 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

2013 Indiana General Assembly Begins With Calls for Focus on Education, Economy

State lawmakers returned to Indianapolis today for the start of their four-month session, which will include the drafting of a new state budget and consideration of Republican Gov.-elect Mike Pence’s proposed personal income tax cut.

With a new GOP supermajority in the House, Democrats don’t have the numbers in either chamber to hold up controversial legislation like they did last year during the bitter fight over a right-to-work bill.

But new House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath says that doesn’t mean his caucus will be silent.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Kentucky Senate Designates Electronic Military Voting as Chief Priority

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division on patrol in Iraq in 2006.
Credit U.S. Army/Public Domain

Giving Kentucky service members and their spouses the ability to cast absentee ballots electronically is the priority of the Kentucky State Senate heading into the 2013 legislative session, Senate President-elect Robert Stivers said on Monday.

Stivers says he’s taking recommendations from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to allow electronic voting for overseas military personnel.

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Local News
2:53 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

J. Blaine Hudson in His Own Words

J. Blaine Hudson
Credit University of Louisville

J. Blaine Hudson studied Louisville's African American community and helped shaping it. He was born in Louisville and became involved in activism as a youth after he was denied entry into a movie theater because of his race.

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Politics
11:50 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Digging In For 2013 Session

Indiana's General Assembly is reconvening for a 2013 session certain to be jammed with debate over the budget, taxes and a raft of divisive social issues.

Lawmakers return to Indianapolis today for the start of their four-month session that will also feature dozens of new faces, including Gov.-elect Mike Pence and his new administration. Pence takes office Jan. 14.

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Politics
10:56 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Poll Shows Increased Support for Statewide Smoking Ban

Credit Creative Commons

The majority of Kentuckians — 59 percent — support a statewide smoking ban, says a poll conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Last year, the poll said for the first time that most Kentuckians supported banning smoking in  public establishments. 

This year, fewer than  38 percent of Kentuckians opposed such a ban. The rest had no opinion.

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Politics
10:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Mayor Fischer Moves State of the City Address to West Louisville

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday he will deliver this year’s State of the City address at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage in the Russell neighborhood.

The speech is scheduled for January 24 and is traditionally delivered before the Rotary Club in downtown. According to the mayor's office, Fischer wants to move the address to different parts of the city each year and the Rotary accepted the suggestion to move it to west Louisville.

"The annual speech is about the state of the entire city, so it’s only natural that it’s delivered in different areas of our great city," Fischer said in a news release.

The mayor also asked the group to open the event up to the public.

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Education
9:05 am
Mon January 7, 2013

New JCPS Board Members Finish Training Before Taking Oath

Credit File photo

Newly elected Jefferson County School Board members will finish training this week before taking office on Jan. 14.

Chris Brady will replace Larry Hujo in District 7, David Jones Jr. will replace Steve Imhoff in District 2 and Chuck Haddaway will replace Joe Hardesty in District 4.

The three seasoned outgoing board members have all told WFPL they feel comfortable with their replacements and with leaving the district in the hands of Superintendent Donna Hargens, who was hired in 2011.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Wants Consensus on Filibuster Reform

Joe Donnelly
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., says even though the filibuster has been abused in recent years, his party should seek a consensus with Republicans before changing the chamber's rules.

Critics have complained that the filibuster is too often used to block important votes. Since 2007, the GOP has used the parliamentary tactic to block legislation and nominees an unprecedented 386 times.

In the last weeks of 2012, Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell jousted over whether to restrict filibusters.

Donnelly says the negotiations to address the dysfunction should continue, and that Reid should find a general agreement with the GOP.

"He will be talking with our Republican friends over the next week or two to try to see if there is a consensus that can form, and I am hopeful that can happen," he says.

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Local News
8:25 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Hearing Officer to Make Recommendations on Councilwoman Shanklin's Ethics Case By Jan. 31

Shanklin attorney Aubrey Williams addresses Ethics Commission last year.

Over the next month, the officer assigned to embattled Louisville Metro councilwoman Barbara Shanklin’s ethics hearing will craft a response to the case.

Shanklin has been accused of violating five provisions of the city’s ethics code, including using her position to benefit relatives. 

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Arts and Humanities
7:49 am
Mon January 7, 2013

"The Whipping Man: On Equality, Freedom and the Legacy of Slavery

Actors Theatre of Louisville associate artistic director Meredith McDonough makes her directorial debut in her new role this week with Matthew Lopez's popular drama "The Whipping Man," set against the backdrop of Passover observances at the end of the Civil War.

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