Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

 Jonathan Meador is the Frankfort Bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio. 

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Politics
2:07 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Kentucky GOP Unveils 'Handshake with Kentucky' Plan

Credit RPK.ORG

The Republican Party of Kentucky has a wish-list of legislative priorities ready to go if the State House were to flip and come under Republican control following this fall's elections.

The party unveiled its plan, dubbed  "Handshake with Kentucky," on Tuesday. It consists of legislative priorities for the state GOP, pending potential victories come Election Day. Currently, Democrats maintain a narrow eight-seat margin in the state's lower chamber.

In a statement, House GOP Floor Leader lambasted House Democrats over poor leadership.

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Politics
9:01 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Talks Between Seven Counties, Kentucky Lawmakers Come Up Short

Credit Seven Counties Services

A meeting between state lawmakers and representatives of Seven Counties Services yielded little progress regarding the Louisville mental health nonprofit’s bankruptcy lawsuit.

The two camps met earlier this month to strike a deal amid ongoing litigation. 

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Local News
4:43 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Kentucky Police Get Guns, Aircraft—and Socks—From Military Surplus Program

Members of the Kentucky State Police Special Response Team
Credit KSP

Since 2006, Kentucky law enforcement agencies have received armored cars, aircraft, automatic weapons and more from a U.S. military equipment transfer program that has come under fire in the wake of civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Data, obtained from the Pentagon by The New York Times, identifies transfers of surplus military equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense's "1033 program,” which funnels surplus gear to state and local police departments, to 90 of Kentucky's 120 counties.

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Politics
7:45 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Where Do Kentucky's Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Climate Change?

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

As candidates to become Kentucky’s next governor scramble to pledge allegiance to the coal industry, there’s one question they’re not addressing: Does burning coal contribute to climate change?

None of the three announced candidates for governor—former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, both Republicans; nor Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway—have offered a statement one way or another about whether they agree with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels like coal makes the planet warmer and destabilizing the climate.

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Politics
6:45 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

At Country Ham Breakfast, A Tale of Two Obamacares

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in his speech at the Kentucky Farm Bureau's 51st annual ham breakfast. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell looks on.
Credit Jonathan Meador / WFPL

Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell once again used the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau's annual country ham breakfast to offer dueling narratives about the federal healthcare overhaul.

Beshear, a Democrat, touted Thursday the success of the state’s health insurance exchange, harping on the 520,000-plus sign-ups since enrollment began last fall. He highlighted its effect on rural counties across the Commonwealth.

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Local News
3:35 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems to Get $23 Million in Big Bank of America Settlement

Tommy Elliot, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Executive Director Bill Thielen listen to a presentation during the meeting of Kentucky Retirement Systems on May 15, 2014.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL

Bank of America has agreed to pay $23 million in restitution to Kentucky Retirement Systems over fraudulent mortgage-backed securities that fueled the 2008 financial crash. 

The agreement is part of a $16.65 billion settlement with six states attorneys general, which the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a news conference Thursday.

The bank has agreed to pay a $5 billion cash penalty, in addition to $7 billion worth of "consumer relief" and disbursements to individual states, making it the largest payout by a major financial institution since the 2008 crash.

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Local News
5:27 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

JCTA, Louisville Educators Clash Over Underfunded Teachers' Pension

JCTA president Brent McKim; Louisville League of Women Voters president Pat Murrell; pension expert Chris Tobe
Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

Louisville educators who support a lawsuit seeking to recoup lost money from Kentucky's underfunded teachers' pension system clashed this week with the head of the Jefferson County teachers' union.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Kentucky Legislative Hearing Becomes Proxy Battle For GOP Gubernatorial Candidates

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters (left) and Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy John Lyons (right).
Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—A state legislative hearing Friday on proposed federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions became a flashpoint in Kentucky's Republican gubernatorial primary.

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Local News
5:26 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

State Lawmakers Object To Military Base Reductions

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry (right) and Deputy Commissioner Margaret Plattner (left)
Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—A group of state lawmakers are calling for the U.S. Department of Defense to abandon its plan to reduce personnel at military bases in Kentucky and across the country.

The reductions would mean a loss of 16,000 positions at Ft. Campbell and 7,605 spots at Ft. Knox, as well a combined income loss of $1.29 billion in Kentucky, according to data from from the U.S. Army's 2020 Force Structure Realignment report, which was provided to the state committee by the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs.

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Local News
5:18 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Kentucky's Teacher Retirement System May Become One of The Worst-Funded In The U.S.

The Kentucky state Capitol building in Frankfort.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

 New pension accounting standards  could place Kentucky's teachers' retirement system among the worst-funded in the U.S.

The new standard from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, set to go into effect this year, will take a more holistic approach to government pension accounting. As a result, the state will be required to provide a more accurate accounting of its various pensions' liabilities.

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