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
12:24 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Reforming Special Taxing Districts to be Kentucky House's No. 1 Priority

State Auditor Adam Edelen
Credit File photo

The No. 1 priority for the Kentucky House in 2013 is set: Tackling recommendations from a recent report that found that special taxing districts have big budgets and little oversight.

Auditor Adam Edelen recently finished a report on the districts, detailing billions of dollars in spending with little to no oversight in most areas. Special taxing districts include the Metropolitan Sewer District and library boards.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Yarmuth Joins Supporters of Legalization of Industrial Hemp

Rep. John Yarmuth and Sen. Rand Paul. Both support the legalization of industrial hemp.
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.

They want legalization to take advantage of the many goods that hemp can produce to create jobs.

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Politics
12:50 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky State Police Not OK with Legalized Pot

Credit Wikipedia Commons

This month, voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize marijuana in their states. And this week, the superintendent of the Indiana State Police told his state’s lawmakers that he supports legalizing and regulating marijuana.

The traditionally hard-line stance American officials have held against marijuana is relaxing in some places -- but don't expect Kentucky law enforcement to follow along.

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Politics
6:13 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

GOP Nominates Stivers as Senate President

The State Senate Republican Caucus has officially nominated Sen. Robert Stivers for Senate president.

Stivers’ new role won’t be official until it’s voted on by the full chamber in early January. But the GOP holds a 24-14 advantage, meaning Stivers is all but certain to succeed former Senate President David Williams. Williams left the Senate to take a position as a circuit judge.

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Stumbo: No Extra Higher Education Funding Until UPike Becomes a State University

A battle may be brewing over the future of Kentucky higher education -- should the state add another state university, this one serving Appalachia?

The leader of the Kentucky House thinks so -- and he said he won't support any extra funding for higher education until the University of Pikeville joins the state university system.

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Politics
9:55 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Bob Leeper, an Independent, Makes Case to be Next Kentucky Senate President

State Sen. Bob Leeper
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky’s lone independent state senator says his record as budget chairman is the reason he should be the next state Senate president. 

Originally a Democrat, Leeper made the switch to the GOP in 2000, before becoming an Independent later that decade. He may be the one state senator who can say he has literally worked with each side of the aisle in Frankfort.

Now, he’s hoping to convince Senate Republicans to make him the next president of the chamber, because he has been a loyal GOP caucus member and budget chairman.

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Politics
8:00 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Stumbo: Make High Earning Pensioners Pay More to Help Fund System

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

State employees with higher pensions should pay more to help the underfunded systems recover, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview.

One thing Stumbo doesn't want to see is lawmakers floating bonds to help pay for the state’s underfunded pensions.

And that echoes what Republicans want; they're ruling out such a possibility.

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Politics
7:00 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Mobile App to Take Aim at Government Fraud, Abuse

Adam Edelen
Credit File photo

As part of his efforts to increase citizen involvement in government, Auditor Adam Edelen's office will soon release a smart phone app to let residents make anonymous requests for investigations. 

Tips have always been taken in person or over the phone, but now, the office is on the verge of allowing tips to come in via smartphone or tablet.

Edelen says moving to smartphone applications will give taxpayers another tool to fight fraud and abuse.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

What to do About Kentucky's Struggling Pension Systems? Task Force Makes Recommendations

Mike Cherry

Kentucky's state pension plans have problems, and a bipartisan legislative task force has approved sweeping recommendations to overhaul them -- including putting new employees in a hybrid plans akin to 401Ks.

The task force -- with an 11-1 vote -- is recommending that the General Assembly start fully funding their pension contributions starting with the next budget in 2014. Lawmakers’ inability to do that is part of the pension plans problems. 

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Politics
4:35 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Beshear, Others to Launch Campaign Against Smurfs (the Drug Kind)

There's nothing magical about Kentucky's smurfs, state leaders say.

Gov. Steve Beshear and State Sen. Robert Stivers -- a contender for senate president --  will help unveil an "anti-smurfing" campaign with the CHPA today. The campaign will include signs that pharmacies have the option to display, warning people to not buy pseudeoephedrine products to sell to others who want to make meth.

In drug culture, a "smurf" is someone who buys pseudoephedrine for someone else with the intent it will be used for meth.

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