Politics
6:16 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

House Passes Two Pension Bills But Controversy Over Vote Looms

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

The House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.

The House passed an amended  version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.

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Politics
5:59 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Amid Financial Woes, Mayor Greg Fischer Appoints City CFO to Arena Authority Board

Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed the city's chief financial officer to the Louisville Arena Authority Board amid growing concerns about the financial stability of the KFC Yum Center in downtown.

The mayor named Steve Rowland to the board on Wednesday, giving the CFO a voting position. Fischer believes the CFO will help the arena authority have a broader view of city operations and related financial projections.

"There’s no doubt the KFC Yum Center is a shining star and the envy of other cities," Fischer said in a statement. "At the same time, the city’s financial responsibility to the bondholders is a significant expense in the city budget. Additionally, revenues from the tax-increment financing district supporting the arena have not performed to the original projections."

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Politics
5:29 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

House Passes Medicaid Prompt Pay Bill 99-0

 A bill moving Medicaid managed care late payments to the Department of Insurance's review process has overwhelmingly passed the state House.

House Bill 5 passed 99-0 off the floor, after a few technical amendments were added to it.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the bill sponsor and says his goal is to make sure health care providers start getting paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, which has been a problem since the MCO system was implemented.

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Local News
5:16 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Election Day Alcohol Sales Bill Close to Final Passage

The legal sale of alcohol on Election Day in Kentucky is a step closer to reality.  Liquor hasn’t been sold legally on Election Day in the commonwealth since the beginning of Prohibition.  Northern Kentucky Senator John Schickel says the measure also would allow local voters to restrict alcohol sales.

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Politics
4:45 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Pence Promises to Promote Tax Cut "Relentlessly"

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs into law the first bill of the General Assembly to reach his desk
Indiana Governor's Office

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he’s going to take lawmakers at their word that they’ll revisit his proposal for a ten-percent income tax cut later in the General Assembly session.

A state budget passed this week by the House does not include the tax cut, with the GOP-controlled chamber opting instead to boost spending on education and transportation.

But the first-term Republican governor says he’s been assured that a tax cut has not been taken off the table.  

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Economy
4:27 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk

Shipyard workers wait for President Obama to speak about looming automatic federal budget cuts Tuesday in Newport News, Va.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.

More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Ashley Judd Reaching Out to Kentucky State House Democratic Leaders

Ashley Judd
Credit Creative Commons

Ashley Judd has begun reaching out to Kentucky House Democratic leaders as she continues to explore a 2014 bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Judd has called House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark asking for a meeting, Clark said.

She also called and left a message on House Speaker Greg Stumbo's cell phone—but asked to speak with House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins. Stumbo said he's returned the call but hasn't heard back.

Clark said he told Judd their meeting will have to wait.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Democratic Supporters Pulling Back From Progress Kentucky

Credit progresskentucky.com

The liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky is moving forward with a planned fundraiser despite a national backlash over controversial attacks on the ethnicity of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's wife.

However, many Democratic lawmakers who were once behind the group are either pulling their support or questioning if they will continue to back them.

WFPL first reported on Progress's online messages accusing former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan, of moving American jobs to China. The group also Tweeted that Chao's "Chinese (money)" was buying state elections.

Progress executive director Shawn Reilly apologized to Chao late Tuesday evening, and told WFPL the group is going ahead with its first fundraiser scheduled for March 7. The event lists Democratic city officials and state lawmakers as hosts, but at least two are pulling their support altogether.

"Throughout my career I've always stood strong against discrimination. I'm appalled at any person or group who unleash attacks based on religion, ethnics, sexual orientation or gender," says Democratic state Rep. Joni Jenkins of Louisville. "These statements are not only unacceptable they are a distraction from the real issues that face Kentuckians. My name will be taken off the fundraiser for Progress Kentucky."

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Politics
3:46 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

With Savannah Dietrich in Mind, Bill Aims to Prevent Gag Orders Against Juvenile Victims

Credit File photo

In the wake of the high-profile Savannah Dietrich court case, a bill in the Kentucky House would prevent judges from issuing gag orders against sexual assault victims undergoing trial in juvenile court.

If approved, House Bill 115 would allow juvenile crime victims to speak freely about their cases, said state Rep. Keith Bratcher, a Louisville Republican.

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Local News
3:44 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Calvin Borel Again a Finalist for Racing Hall of Fame

Wikipedia

Three-time Kentucky Derby winning Jockey Calvin Borel is among the finalists for the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.

The list of finalists also includes jockeys Garret Gomez, Alex Solis, Craig Perret and the late Chris Antley, along with retired trainer Gary Jones and four thoroughbreds.

This is Borel’s third straight year as a finalist.   In an interview prior to last year’s Kentucky Derby, Borel said he believes he’s earned his place in the hall of fame.

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