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. 


1:00 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Lawmaker Seeks to End Legislators' Pensions

A Kentucky Republican lawmaker is attempting to end the pension program for legislators.

State Representative David Floyd says Kentucky’s part-time lawmakers shouldn't get pensions. But currently they do, and some lawmakers are able to fatten their pensions by taking higher-paying jobs elsewhere in government, then collecting a pension for the higher salary after they retire.

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11:59 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Next Step for Kentucky's Health Insurance Exchange: Picking a Model Plan

The confusing process of setting up Kentucky’s health insurance exchange should get clearer later this month.

The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up exchanges in which residents can compare and purchase health plans. Governor Steve Beshear choose to set up the state exchange earlier this year, rather than let the federal government operate the system.

So far, Beshear has created a new state office to house the exchange and he's named an executive director. 

And by the end of this month, the state must choose an existing health plan that will be the benchmark for the exchange. To be listed on the exchange, all other health plans will have to provide similar or better service than the benchmark.

Each plan must cover essential care items including:

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8:00 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Kentuckians Will Play An Off-Camera Role at DNC

As Democrats head to Charlotte, North Carolina this week for the Democratic National Convention, many Kentucky delegates will be going for the first time.

Auditor Adam Edelen is one of those first-timers. Edelen says he thinks his party will show why they truly are the best representatives and supporters of the middle class.

Edelen says former President Bill Clinton will likely be the best messenger for that campaign at the convention.

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12:00 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Observer Says Kentucky's Small Role in Presidential Elections Leaves Local Speakers Off DNC Stage

Unlike their GOP counterparts, zero Kentucky officials will be taking the main stage to speak at this week’s Democratic National Convention.

Democrats hold the majority of statewide offices in Kentucky, including the governor’s office. But that’s not enough to get any of those elected officials onto the DNC stage this week.

Last week, Republicans heard from three Kentuckians during their convention: Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and congressional candidate Andy Barr.

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3:49 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Lawmakers to Examine Coal Severance Fund

Kentucky lawmakers will be briefed next week on the state’s ailing coal severance tax fund.

The office of the state budget director will update the lawmakers of the fund’s future on Wednesday, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the interim committee on natural resources and environment.

The coal severance fund is made up of a tax collected on each ton of coal mined in Kentucky. But the coal industry has had a rough year, and officials are forecasting problems maintaining previous levels of revenue.

3:53 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Observers: Paul's RNC Speech Forceful

U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Rand Paul may not have received a prime time speech slot at  this week's Republican National Convention, but he still managed to get attention.

Observers like University Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton say the younger Paul is seen as a potential bridge between the current GOP establishment and they loyal followers of his father, Congressman Ron Paul.

Clayton says the build-up to Rand Paul's speech Wednesday night furthered that, with a video tribute to his father, who is exiting politics after decades in Congress.

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9:11 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Kentucky's Senators Give Back-to-Back Speeches at RNC

Kentucky may not be a key state in this fall’s presidential election, but its two senators played a key role in GOP attacks on the president Wednesday night. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul spoke back to back at the Republican National Convention. Their speeches were a one-two punch against many of President Barack Obama's policies. 

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4:48 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Beshear Names Larry Bond as New Chief of Staff

Governor Steve Beshear has promoted his deputy chief of staff to the top spot.

Louisville native Larry Bond was named chief of staff today. He replaces Mike Haydon, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.

Bond was named to the deputy spot two years ago, after spending years in various roles in state government. He also worked in Louisville city government for years, including time as the city’s chief administrative officer.

4:25 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Barr Focuses on Coal in RNC Speech

Barr in a campaign video
Campaign Video

Republican Congressional candidate Andy Barr focused on coal in his national debut at the Republican National Convention.

Barr is running against Congressman Ben Chandler in Kentucky’s Sixth District, which covers much of the central part of the state. In a short speech at the convention today, Barr repeatedly said President Barack Obama doesn’t care about coal issues.

In contrast, Barr says he and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney do care about the coal industry in Kentucky.

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3:07 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Revised RNC Schedule Still Gives Kentuckians Speaking Slots

National Weather Service

The schedule shuffling at this year’s Republican National Convention won’t cost any Kentucky politicians their speaking slots.

With the first day’s events canceled due to Tropical Storm (soon to be Hurricane) Isaac, at least two Kentucky speakers were in danger of being knocked off the schedule.

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