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
2:01 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

National Democratic Groups Increasing Attacks on McConnell

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Democratic groups are increasing the pressure on Senator Mitch McConnell as he gears up for next year's re-election campaign, launching attacks that focus on McConnell's recent actions in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate Majority PAC, run by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has created a website called “Beltway Mitch,” targeting McConnell for his refusal to compromise on sequestration, and the effects of sequestration on school districts in Kentucky.

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Politics
12:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Poll: McConnell in Close Races With Potential Opponents

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A new poll shows Sen. Mitch McConnell with a precarious lead over potential Democratic challengers.

The survey from Public Policy Polling shows McConnell with a four point lead over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes—45 to 41—and a five point lead over former Congressman Ben Chandler.

Despite the leads, McConnell polls below the 50 percent mark in both races. And it shows he only has an 11 point lead over contractor Ed Marksberry, 46 to 35. 

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

The Weird and Wacky Kentucky Laws Approved in the 2013 General Assembly Session

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear has acted on every bill approved in the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly session. Some bill are are stranger than others.

Every year, Kentucky legislators OK a handful of bills that make lobbyists and lawmakers rolling their eyes, and this year is no different.

Here are some examples:

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Politics
1:30 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear Vetoes Medicaid Prompt Pay Bill, Promises Changes to System

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Gov. Steve Beshear has vetoed a bill sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo that would require prompt payment in the Medicaid managed care system. 

The governor was expected to veto the bill, claiming it would cost the state too much money.

But in turn, Beshear says he will implement the spirit of the bill, including allowing the Department of Insurance to investigate late payment claims. Beshear also promised the administrative side of the managed care system would work better.

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Politics
12:59 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Hemp, Medi-Share Bills to Become Kentucky Law

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Governor Steve Beshear is allowing a bill regulating hemp in Kentucky to become law without his signature.

Supporters of Senate Bill 50 were concerned that the governor might veto the bill after continuing expressing concerns law enforcement had with the bill that it would allow increased marijuana growing. 

But those concerns apparently weren't enough to veto the bill, as the governor says he will let it become law.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Beau Biden to Speak at Kentucky Democrat's Annual Dinner

Beau Biden
Credit Beau Biden campaign

Kentucky Democrats are bringing in a well-connected out-of-state politician  to headline their annual state dinner. 

State Democrats aim for high-profile names to headline their annual Wendell Ford Dinner—this year they've booked Beau Biden, the Delaware Attorney General and the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

The Kentucky Democratic Party  was looking for a young, up-and-coming speaker for this year's event, Chair Dan Logsdon said.

Logsdon said the party reached out with the help of Kentucky's own attorney general, Jack Conway.

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Politics
3:40 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer Closes Fuel Testing Lab Started by Richie Farmer

James Comer
Credit File photo

An expensive fuel lab run by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is being shut down to save the state money. 

The lab was meant to test the quality of fuel from pumps across the state. It was the brainchild of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, who promised other states would eventually sign contracts with the lab and generate significant revenue.

Those contracts never materialized—and so far and the lab has been a money guzzler.

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Politics
1:38 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Polls Show Rand Paul Gaining Strength for 2016 After Filibuster, Policy Speeches

Credit U.S. Senate

Two national polls released this week show Kentucky Senator Rand Paul neck and neck with many other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates.

Both Quinnipiac and Public Policy Polling released surveys Wednesday showing Paul in second or third place in the early GOP primary field. 

Paul clocks in at 15 percent in the Quinnipiac poll, behind former vice presidential nominee and Congressman Paul Ryan at 17 percent, and fellow Republican Senator Marco Rubio at 19 percent.  

The PPP survey has Paul making a bigger leap since their previous presidential poll. Paul has 17 percent of primary voters in the PPP poll, with Rubio at 21 percent.

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Politics
11:38 am
Wed April 3, 2013

For First Time, Kentucky Supreme Court Has 3 Women Justices

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle M. Keller
Credit http://courts.ky.gov

In a historic appointment, Governor Steve Beshear has named Court of Appeals Judge Michelle M. Keller of Fort Mitchell to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The appointment increases the number of women on the state's highest court to three. It is the first time the state Supreme Court has had three female justices on the bench.

Keller replaces Justice Wil Schroder, who resigned January 17 due to health reasons.

In a statement, Keller says her appointment is bittersweet.

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Politics
9:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

New Political Action Committee's Aim is for Republicans to Take Kentucky State House

Credit File photo

With more than a year before the next elections, new political action committee has formed to help Republicans gain control of the Kentucky state House.

The PAC—Pro-Jobs, Pro-Kentucky—was formed earlier this month by Scott Jennings, a longtime Kentucky  GOP political operative and Mike Adams, a former counsel for the Republican Governor's Association.

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