Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

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

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Politics
5:11 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Over a Quarter Million Kentuckians Are Newly-Insured Under the Affordable Care Act

  A vast majority of Kentuckians who have signed up for healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act are going to be insured for the first time in their lives.

More than 370,000 Kentuckians have signed up for health coverage under the state’s insurance exchange, KyNect. The Governor’s Office reports that the number of enrollees “surged” in the days before the March 31st open enrollment deadline, with about 12,000 signing up for coverage on the deadline.

Here are the key numbers:

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Local News
1:35 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

State Defunding Attempts Won't Hurt Affordable Care Act In Kentucky, Says House Speaker Greg Stumbo

Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky’s highest-ranking Democratic lawmaker says language in the state’s budget that attempts to pull funding for the Affordable Care Act won’t kill the program.

Kentucky is set to begin paying a portion of the cost for expanded Medicaid and the health-insurance exchange in 2017. Provisions in the recently-passed state budget bar state money from going toward the program.

But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says it's largely symbolic.

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Politics
7:12 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Felon Voting Rights Restoration "Unlikely" To Pass in Kentucky This Year

Credit Courtesy of Alex Lee, Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would restore voting rights for thousands of Kentucky felons isn’t likely to pass this year.

Lawmakers say they could not reach an agreement over different versions of the proposed legislation.

GOP Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer previously amended the bill to include a five year waiting period and not cover felons with multiple offenses. Supporters of the proposed legislation have criticized Thayer’s changes, which would not affect about half of the 180,000 Kentuckians the original bill was meant to help.

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Politics
10:14 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Kentucky General Assembly Passes New State Budget, See the Highlights Here

  FRANKFORT—After a marathon negotiation session this weekend, the Kentucky General Assembly gave speedy passage to a slew of budget bills that gave raises to judicial employees and restored funding for K-12 education while also reducing safety inspections for mines and possibly prohibiting the commonwealth from funding local implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Politics
10:02 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Highlights of the Kentucky State Budget Compromise

Credit File photo

  FRANKFORT—State House and Senate leaders have agreed on the details of a $20.3 billion biennial state budget that largely preserves Gov. Steve Beshear's intention to restore funding for K-12 education. A final vote on the plan is expected late Monday night.

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Politics
6:07 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Kentucky State Budget Battle Shifts Focus to Rupp Arena Renovations

Credit File photo

  FRANKFORT—Kentucky state lawmakers spent the first several hours of a Saturday afternoon budget conference haranguing one another for Washington-style politicking and discussing whether to use state bonds to finance portions of a $310 million renovation plan for the University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena.

The fourth consecutive day of budget negotiations between House Democratic and Senate GOP leadership began with heightened levels of rancor, with each side blaming the other for adhering to politics that invoked the specters of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

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Politics
5:40 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Is Tonight's Kentucky Wildcats-Louisville Cardinals Game Slowing the State Budget Process?

Credit File photo

Work on a new Kentucky state budget is slowing in Frankfort—because of a a basketball game.

Interest in tonight's NCAA Tournament matchup between the Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats is the latest delaying factor in an already contentious day.

With only a handful of days left in the session, lawmakers are behind schedule on passing the only bill they’re required to: A $20.3 billion biennial budget.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Lobbyists Spend $4.3 Million In Kentucky General Assembly

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — Lobbyists spent $4.3 million in the first two months of the 2014 General Assembly, with the healthcare industry leading the way in spending on lawmakers.

Health care companies spent more than $888,000 from Jan. 7 to Feb. 28, according to lobbying data released by the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission. Hospitals paid the lion’s share of the healthcare lobby, at more than $205,000.

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Politics
6:56 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Kentucky Senate Restores Mine Inspections to 6 Per Year

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Senate will likely restore funding for state coal mine inspections.

Currently, mines get six state inspections a year. A previous draft of the budget cut the number to two. Senate President Robert Stivers says his chamber will likely restore funding for six inspections.

But that doesn't mean Stivers wants to keep the amount of money exactly the same. He says the House budget didn’t address the reduction in the number of coal mines, which he argues requires fewer inspections.

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Politics
6:42 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Kentucky Senate Once Again Tries For Charter Schools

Credit File photo

A bill that would open the door to charter schools in Kentucky has passed the state Senate, although similar legislation has previously failed to gain traction in the Democratic-led House.

The measure passed by a 22-14 party line vote—not unlike the vote last year.

The bill would allow certified teaching staff and parents to petition the principal of a low-achieving school for a vote on whether a privately run charter organization should be in charge of the school.

State Sen. Mike Wilson, a Bowling Green Republican, sponsored the bill.

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