Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

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

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Politics
7:01 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Kentucky Pension Is Worst In the U.S., Credit Rating Agency Says

Credit File photo

The credit agency Fitch Ratings has named one of Kentucky’s pensions as the worst in the U.S..

The non-hazardous pension under the Kentucky Employee Retirement System has about a quarter of the money it would need to pay out what will be owed to pensioners.

Todd Green is a senior actuary for Cavanaugh MacDonald, an accounting firm that examined five years’ worth of the state’s pension data. He says the pensions have been neglected and money hasn't been put in them and kept in them.

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Politics
11:28 am
Mon May 19, 2014

It's Election Day in Kentucky. Here Are State Legislature Primaries to Watch.

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With an expected 30 percent (or less) voter turnout in Tuesday's primary elections, about 930,000 Kentuckians will take to the polls to determine which candidates will appear on the ballot during this fall's general election.

The big question everybody will be asking: What will the election's outcome have on the Kentucky Democratic Party's bid to retain control of the state House against a Republican insurgency?

With 23 seats contested in the House, here's a quick look at some of the races  that'll add clarity to that question.

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Local News
7:27 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Don't Expect More Than 30 Percent of Kentucky Registered Voters to Vote on Tuesday, Grimes Says

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary elections isn’t likely to break 30 percent.

Earlier this week, Grimes said the lack of a presidential race and the lack of a ballot initiative on local option sales tax will keep most voters at home on primary day. And absentee voting is lagging, too.

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Local News
5:25 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

James Comer Sues Federal Government Over Hemp Seed Seizure

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has filed suit against the federal government over its seizure of 250 pounds of imported hemp seeds that arrived in Louisville from Italy last week. 

The DEA says the agriculture department could apply for a special permit to get the seeds, but  Holly Harris, a spokeswoman for Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, says the permit would put serious restrictions on the state’s pilot hemp programs, which would research and cultivate the crop for industrial use.

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Local News
7:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Kentucky Divvies $5-Million AmeriCorps Grants, Mostly for Education Programs

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Kentucky is poised to get about $5 million in AmeriCorps grants to shore up community-based social services programs across the state, according to Governor Steve Beshear's office.

Most of the money will go to education programs.

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Local News
7:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Louisville Public School Teachers To File Lawsuit Against State Over Unfunded Pensions

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A group of Louisville teachers plans to file a class-action lawsuit claiming the governor and Kentucky General Assembly violated a contractual obligation by deliberately underfunding the teachers' retirement fund by billions of dollars.

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Local News
5:18 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Reaction to Gov. Beshear's Procreation Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage in Kentucky

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First, it was a matter of tradition. Then, a moral issue. Now, after courts across the country have thrown out multiple arguments in favor of banning same-sex marriage, the Beshear Administration is on the vanguard of a new logic: dollars and cents.

In a brief filed this week in federal court, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says same-sex marriage would hurt the economy by not producing children—and supporters of same-sex marriage say their opponents are running out of ideas.

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Politics
8:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

U.S. Humane Society Calls on Kentucky to Strengthen Laws Against Cockfighting

Greg Stumbo
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

  The CEO of the Humane Society of the United States is calling on House Speaker Greg Stumbo to strengthen the state’s cockfighting laws.

Cockfighting carries a misdemeanor charge in Kentucky, though attending a fight is now a federal crime. Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle is asking Stumbo to toughen the state’s law after an alleged cockfighting ring was recently busted in McDowell, Ky. Three of Stumbo's distant relatives are accused of running the operation.

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Politics
9:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Once Again Cockfighting Is An Issue in Kentucky Politics

For the third time in as many months, leading Kentucky politicians find themselves addressing cockfighting.

A new federal case brings questions about the bloodsport to a top state Democratic lawmaker and puts the practice back into conversations about the U.S. Senate race.

Federal authorities filed charges against three Eastern Kentucky residents this week in a massive cockfighting ring run out of the Big Blue Sportsman’s Club in McDowell, Ky.

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Politics
8:28 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

In Reversal, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission Finds Former Lawmaker John Arnold Guilty

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT—After hours of deliberation and sparring with his defense attorney—not to mention the news media—a full quorum of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission on Wednesday voted to reprimand and fine former state Rep. John Arnold.

It ws the second, and final, hearing in the ethics case brought against the Western Kentucky Democrat by female state House staffers.

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