Kenny Colston

Kentucky Public Radio Frankfort Bureau Chief

Kenny Colston is based in the state capitol and files pieces for public radio stations across the commonwealth. Before joining KPR in 2012, he covered state government for Insight CN2. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Kenny was a four-year staff member of the Kentucky Kernel, serving as editor-in-chief in his last year. 

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Politics
5:22 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Mitch McConnell: President Obama is Asking for Too Much in Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said he hopes a deal can be reached to avoid the fiscal cliff,  but so far the talks have not gone well.

McConnell said President Barack Obama is asking for a new stimulus package -- the unlimited ability to raise the debt ceiling and more than $1 trillion in new tax revenues.

(The New York Times recently published a handy graphic outlining where the sides stand.)

And those proposals are not something Republicans want to concede, McConnell said.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Republican State Senators Name New Committee Chairs

The Republican state Senate has completed it's shake-up, after announcing new committee chairs today. 

With multiple chairmen retiring and others promoted into leadership, the caucus had many roles to fill, including that of chairmen for Education, Judiciary, Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

And in another move, the caucus named State Senator David Givens as c0-chair to the budget committee, with Senator Bob Leeper.

Incoming freshman Senator Whitney Westerfield is the new judiciary chairman. The full list of Republican chairs are below, with * by new chairs.

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Politics
2:17 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

On Expanded Gambling, Beshear Open to Cleaner Amendment

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Gov. Steve Beshear is considering multiple options in the efforts to get the General Assembly to support expanded gambling legislation.

A constitutional amendment failed earlier this year in the state Senate -- and a major complaint from critics was that the amendment did too much to protect thoroughbred racing tracks over other businesses. The bill banned casinos from being within 60 miles of a race track, unless the casino was at the track.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Hemp Commission Will Work on Proposal, Economic Impact Study

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Credit File photo

The second meeting of the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission will soon begin sorting through the details of its efforts to bring legalized hemp to Kentucky.

The commission will work on the details of a new legislative bill proposal, such what the bill will include and which legisators will sponsor it during the 2013 session, said the chairman, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

Comer says another detail will be to pick a state university to commission a new economic study of legalizing industrial hemp in Kentucky.

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Politics
2:10 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Despite Drought, Ky. Agriculture Revenues Could Set Records

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Despite experiencing one of the worse droughts in U.S. history, agriculture economists in Kentucky are projecting record cash receipts for the state’s farmers.

During their annual outlook during the Kentucky Farm Bureau conference, economists from the University of Kentucky say they think Kentucky will break the $5-billion barrier in revenues this year.

Lead economist Will Snell says high prices for many crops -- along will increased exports and insurance payouts  -- helped offset the drought for many agricultural industries in Kentucky.

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Local News
2:37 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Confused by Medicaid Changes in Louisville? Group Sets up Meetings to Offer Answers

Credit Wikipedia Commons

As Kentucky moves to a new Medicaid arraignment in the Louisville region, the publisher of the Louisville-based Medical News is organizing community meetings to help Medicaid recipients avoid confusion about the changes.

For more than a decade, Passport was the exclusive managed care operator for the region. But, starting in January, the Louisville Medicaid region will be served by four managed care operators: Passport, Humana CareSource , WellCare and Coventry Cares.

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Politics
11:48 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Paul Amendment Changes How Soldiers Are Counted in Census

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Services members would be counted differently in future U.S. Censuses under a successful amendment to a major defense bill that's to be debated in the U.S. Congress -- an amendment sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Currently, family members living on a military base are counted there as residents, but if a soldier is deployed away from the base, he is not counted as a base resident.

The amendment would count the deployed soldier as a member of the base -- a potentially helpful change for Kentucky. Kentucky has two major Army bases, Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. 

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Local News
3:11 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Legislative Ethics Commission's Wilhoit Honored for 15 Years of Work

Tony Wilhoit
Credit Legislative Ethics Commission

The executive director of Kentucky's Legislative Ethics Commission has been honored for his 15 years of work on the commission.

Judge Anthony Wilhoit has received the COGEL Award, given by the Council of Government Ethics Laws. It's the highest international award in the field of governmental ethics.

Wilhoit took over the commission in 1997 after a series of controversies in the General Assembly. Wilhoit has more than 50 years of public service, including several years on the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

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Politics
12:25 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Expanded Gambling Issue May be Addressed in 2013 (Maybe.)

Credit Creative Commons

Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013  session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering.

A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.

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Politics
4:46 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Officials Say Tax Amnesty Program Will Hit Revenue Goal

Credit Kentucky Department of Revenue

Kentucky should meet its goal of $55 million in revenue from the state's latest round of tax amnesty, the commissioner of the Department of Revenue told lawmakers on Thursday.

People who owe Kentucky taxes have until 9 p.m. Friday to get their application postmarked or delivered to the state. 

Revenue Commissioner Thomas Miller told lawmakers today that his office has recovered tax revenue from people in all 120 counties of the Commonwealth and all 50 states.

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