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
2:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

PAC Forms With Goal to Eliminate Reproductive Rights as Campaign Issue

Credit Creative Commons

The key issue for a new Louisville-based political action committee is candidates' use of reproductive rights as a campaign issue.

Reproductive Rights for Kentucky PAC was born from the recent controversy when University of Louisville Hospital attempted to merge with Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. Critics of the merger raised concerns about CHI's adherence to Catholic religious directives—that certain reproductive health practices, such as tubal litigations, wouldn't be permitted at University Hospital.

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Politics
12:51 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Call 2013 Session A Success

Robert Stivers and Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they're proud of the 2013, with legislators having accomplished pension reforms, cleaned up other bills and passed others dealing with hemp, special taxing district and military voting.

Many of the legislature's top priorities were passed in the 30-day session, although most of them were hatched as last minutes deals in the waning days of the session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the 2013 session may have been his proudest in more than a decade.

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Politics
1:26 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Amended Hemp Bill Passes Kentucky Legislature; Comer OK With Result

James Comer
Credit File photo

Kentucky lawmakers have achieved a compromise that would set up a regulatory framework should the federal government legalize industrial hemp.

The so-called hemp bill—Senate Bill 50—gives control of licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission, but allow the Kentucky State Police to do background checks on the farmers.

The state Department of Agriculture would be given many administrative roles for licensing hemp farmers and the University of Kentucky would be charged with researching the issue.

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Politics
1:06 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Deal Reached on Kentucky Military Voting Legislation, Passes in Final Minutes of Session

Credit Creative Commons

Kentucky military personnel serving overseas will be able to get ballots electronically under legislation approved late Tuesday in the Kentucky General Assembly. How they send them back is still to be determined.

Working until the last minute of the 2013 session, legislators went back to the original Senate version of the military voting bill that allowed for electronic sending of ballots to overseas military, but snail mail return of the ballot.

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Politics
8:14 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Kentucky General Assembly Passes Pension Bills, Avert Special Session

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — Kentucky's legislative leaders have passed two bills to shore up the state's underfunded pension systems, effectively staving off a special session on the issue.

The new plan would reduce a personal tax credit of $20 to $10, generating about $33 million in revenue that would go to General Fund, but lawmakers would use it for pensions. The plan would also use revenue from technical changes in the state's tax code, as well as money from federal tax changes.

Overall, the plan would generate $96 million in the 2015 fiscal year and $100 million in 2016 fiscal year.

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Politics
12:38 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Christian Health-Sharing Bill Passes House, Could Become Law

Credit File photo

A bill that would allow a Christian health sharing organization to again operate in Kentucky is steps away from becoming law, if it's not vetoed.

Senate Bill 3, called the Medi-share bill after Christian Care Medi-Share, on Tuesday passed the House 88-8 after amendments that require Christian Care Medi-Share to give more warnings to customers  that health sharing is not insurance.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Medicaid Prompt Pay Bill Approved in Kentucky General Assembly, Could Be Vetoed

Credit File photo

A bill requiring prompt pay for health care providers participating in Kentucky's Medicaid managed-care system is heading to the governor's desk—but it isn't veto-proof.

The bill,  sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo and would move disputes between providers and managed care organizations to the Department of Insurance to be settled.

Many Medicaid managed-care providers providers over late or non-existent payments from the MCOs for the services they did, repeatedly telling lawmakers their problems.

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Politics
12:27 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Likely to Override Religious Freedom Bill Veto

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

The Kentucky House will vote Tuesday whether to override Gov. Steve Beshear's veto of the "religious freedom" bill.

Many House Democrats supported the bill when it first came up for a vote, though the decision to consider the veto was more contentious when taken up in a Democratic caucus meeting Monday. Speaker Greg Stumbo expects the override to go through, but he's not sure how strong the support will be.

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Politics
12:07 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Considering Plan for Pension Reform, But Compromise Appears Uncertain

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

With only one day left in this year's legislative session, Kentucky House leaders are hopeful they have a deal to up shore up the state's underfunded pension system. But there may not be time to get it through the legislature. 

House Democrats' are building support for a proposal that uses technical wrangling of revenue sources to cut some taxes while raising other funds to pay for pension reform. The current proposal would cut the gasoline tax by one cent, resulting in a loss of funds for the state road fund.

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kentucky Lottery Approves Online Sales, New Keno Game

Credit Shutterstock.com

The Kentucky Lottery Corporation is moving ahead with a new Keno game and online lottery sales after unanimously approval from its board. 

The board approved the new games with the hopes they would generate $85 million a year by 2023.

State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach spearheaded the effort to expand to Keno and online as a way to help generate more revenue for the state.

He says it will take roughly a year for full implementation of the games.

"So you're probably not going to see anything of any significance until 2014. It takes a little while," he said.

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