Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

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

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Politics
8:08 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Kentucky House Committee Approves Budget Plan, 'Virtually the Same' as Gov. Steve Beshear's Proposal

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Kentucky lawmakers have a month remaining in the 2014 legislative session, and in that time they must pass a new state budget.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee has approved a series of bills, including a modified version of the governor's proposed $20.3 billion, two-year budget.

Committee Chair Rick Rand says his chamber’s version is “virtually the same” as Gov. Steve Beshear's draft.

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Politics
7:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Kentucky Local Option Sales Tax Clears House Committee, But Speaker Stumbo Issues Criticism

Greg Ficher
Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — A plan to give local governments the ability to pay for capital projects with a temporary sales tax increase is headed to the Kentucky House.

But, though the measure has cleared a committee, it faces difficult prospects.

Because it would amend the state constitution, the local option sales tax legislation will need a supermajority in both the House and the Senate.

It would then go to the public on the November ballot.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

House's Kentucky Budget Proposal Similar to Gov. Steve Beshear's

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — A budget proposal in the Kentucky House will closely resemble the $20 billion biennial budget outlined by Gov. Steve Beshear.

House Appropriations and Revenue chair Rick Rand says that that chamber’s budget will be virtually the same as the governor’s, specifically in the area of education. It largely preserves Beshear’s requests for the funding formula known as SEEK and implements raises for teachers.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Northern Kentuckians Share Thoughts on Heroin Epidemic With U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell, left.
Credit Jonathan Meador/Kentucky Public Radio

FLORENCE– Republican U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell heard testimony on Friday from Northern Kentuckians on how to tackle Kentucky’s burgeoning heroin epidemic.

McConnell held court at the Northern Kentucky Area Development District building for a 90-minute discussion that featured panelists with first-hand knowledge of the drug’s impact, including law enforcement officials, opiate treatment specialists, educators and a recovering heroin addict.

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Local News
1:41 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's Push for Local Option Sales Tax Criticized From the Left

Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is continuing his push for the local option sales tax, which would let communities vote on temporary sales tax increases to fund projects. But Fischer, a Democrat,  is facing opposition to the plan—from the left.

In a 15-minute pitch in Frankfort, Fischer extolled the civic virtues of a sales tax that he says would be used to fund local projects chosen by committee and placed on a ballot before voters.

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Politics
7:07 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Kentucky Statewide Smoking Ban Push Stopped by Democratic House Leaders, Bill Sponsor Says

Credit Shutterstock.com

FRANKFORT — The sponsor of a bill that would ban smoking in public places and some private businesses in Kentucky says House Democratic leadership has killed the measure.

Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington, says a combination of pressure from lobbying groups and political concerns of colleagues with tobacco farms in their districts were behind the bill's failure.

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Politics
7:54 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

E-Cigarette Ban for Minors Passes Kentucky Senate

Credit Shutterstock.com

FRANKFORT — Kentucky is one step closer to banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

The state Senate has passed a measure doing just that by a 26 to 2 vote.

The proposed legislation would prohibit retailers from selling electronic cigarettes or vaporized nicotine devices to anyone younger than 18, and would penalize retailers under the same laws that govern traditional tobacco products.

The bill now heads to the House.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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Politics
7:58 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Kentucky House Rejects Senate's Changes to Felon Voting Rights Legislation

Jesse Crenshaw
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House on Wednesday rejected changes to a bill that would automatically restore voting rights to many felons.

This throws out a set of revisions from the Republican-controlled Senate that would have reduced the number of affected felons by more than half.

State Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, a Lexington Democrat, implored colleagues to vote against the changes.

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Politics
7:58 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Explains Decision to Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Order

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says he knows marriage equality supporters are upset with his decision to appeal a federal ruling requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages.

But the governor adds that he wants advocates to know further action is needed to prevent what he calls the “legal chaos” that would arise from too many contradictory rulings.

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Local News
5:05 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Frankfort Rally Commemorating 1964 Civil Rights March Focuses on Felon Voting Rights

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — The fight for civil rights in Kentucky continues 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. led a march in the state Capitol.

The 1964 march on Frankfort agitated for Civil Rights in segregation-era Kentucky, resulting in the passage of the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

A commemorative rally today Wednesday centered on restoring the voting rights for felons. In Kentucky, about one in five African-American males cannot vote because a felony charge, and legislation has been proposed in the General Assembly to restore voting rights to felons.

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