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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Local News
1:49 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Medicaid Open Enrollment Begins in Kentucky

Kentuckians on Medicaid now have the opportunity to change healthcare providers for the first time in months.

Open enrollment for all of the state except Louisville started today. It's the first time since Medicaid was privatized that residents can choose a new private operator to handle their care.

Politics
9:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Beshear Says Hybrid Solution for Struggling Pensions Could Work

Governor Steve Beshear says he's interested in a so-called hybrid approach to pension reform.

Lawmakers are discussing how to fix the flailing public pension plans for state and county employees. They'll make recommendations at the end of the year.

Beshear says he would support a plan, that allows current to employees keep their pensions, but require new employees to pay into a 401k-type plan.

But the governor's support isn't without qualifications.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Proposed Law Would End the Battle Between State and Christian Health Sharing Organization

A Tea Party activist is hoping to end a decade-long battle between the Kentucky Department of Insurance and a Christian health sharing organization.

Christian Care Medishare pools money from members in various states to pay medical bills for members in need. The group has a religious exemption to certain federal rules governing insurance companies. But the state has not made such concessions.

Now, activist David Adams is teaming up with Republican state Senator Tom Buford to push a bill that would grant Medishare its exemptions.

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Politics
4:15 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Edelen Wants to Review and Reform Taxing Districts, But First He Has to Count Them

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen is encouraging local officials to help him find out about the state’s hundreds of special taxing districts.

A special taxing district is a quasi-governmental agency—such as a local sewer system or public library—that gets its funds from a separate tax.

No one knows how many such districts there are in the state. And since the spring, Edelen has set out to find and catalog all of the districts, then see if any are abusing public funds.

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Politics
5:37 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Lawmakers Frustrated by Lack of Information on Health Insurance Exchange

Kentucky lawmakers are frustrated by the lack of information on the state’s incoming health insurance exchange.

The exchange is required under the healthcare law, and will allow Kentuckians to compare and purchase insurance plans.

At a meeting of the joint Health and Welfare committee, many lawmakers prodded members of the executive branch for details on the costs and operations of the exchange. But answers were lacking.

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Local News
2:01 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Abramson Says Kentucky Should Increase Efforts to Create Green Jobs and Clean Energy

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson says Kentucky needs to double its efforts to create clean energy and green jobs.

In a meeting with energy officials Wednesday, Abramson said the commonwealth needs to look to the future.

“We simply can not, should not and frankly we will not be able to keep doing things the way we have in the past.”

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Politics
11:45 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Abramson Says Tax Commission Not Likely to Recommend Big Changes

File photo

The chair of Kentucky’s tax commission says a sweeping overhaul of the state's tax code isn't in the works.

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson says, in his heart, he wants to see a major change in the tax code.

“But at the same time my brain tells that generally in state government things move incrementally forward,” he says, adding that a grand reform bill isn’t likely to pass the legislature.

And Abramson says throwing out and completely rewriting the state tax code, as state Senate President David Williams previously advocated for, is out of the question.

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Local News
4:14 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Federal Judge: Beer-Only Sales at Kentucky Grocery Stores Unconstitutional

Gabe Bullard WFPL News

A federal judge's ruling could open the door to the sale of hard liquor and wine in grocery stores.

Currently state law allows grocery stores to only sell beer, while liquor stores and drug stores can sell beer, wine and liquor. After years of unsuccessful lobbying to change the law, grocery associations sued in federal court last year. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville handed down a ruling in their favor today, declaring that the ban is unconstitutional. 

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Politics
2:55 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Political Junkies Excited for Biden-Ryan Matchup at Centre College

This year's vice presidential debate at Centre College is shaping up to be a policy wonk's dream. 

Both Vice President Joe Biden and newly-minted Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan are longtime lawmakers who are steeped in policy. 

“I think it will be a substantive debate, meaning that these are both serious policymakers and they both have substantial voting records and careers to discuss, even though Congressman Ryan is relatively young at 42, he’s been in Congressman since January 1999,” says University of Louisville professor Jasmine Farrier.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Comer Upset Over Abramson's Dismissal of Fancy Farm Picnic

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson's assertion that the Fancy Farm picnic is no longer a relevant political event has inspired a growing backlash.

In remarks reported by CN2, Abramson dismissed the picnic, saying it's too rowdy. But Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who emceed this year's event, says when statewide officials skip the picnic, as Abramson did this year, it hurts the church and community that put the event on.

"Fancy Farm just isn’t about politics, it’s a church charity event and it’s a huge economic draw for people in Western Kentucky,” Comer says.

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