Rae Hodge

Rae Hodge is a freelance reporter.

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Local News
12:48 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Goes to Beshear, Critics Warn It May Gut Civil Rights Protections

Sen. Neal
Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

After a lengthy partisan battle that lasted hours into the night, a bill that would allow Kentuckians to ignore laws that they say violate their religious beliefs cleared the state Senate.

Supporters say the "Religious Freedom Act" sponsored by Rep. Robert Damron, D-Nicholasville, would protect religion from government encroachment. WFPL's Phillip Bailey reported earlier this week:

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Politics
3:08 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Kentucky Anti-Gambling Group: Cost Outweights Benefits

Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — Gambling brings social ills that will offset any tax revenue to Kentucky, argued a new group that rallied Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda.

About 30 people joined the group Stop Predatory Gambling Kentucky for the rally, where speakers dismissed efforts in the General Assembly to expand gambling through casinos or Instant Racing.

Karen Hendersen, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling Kentucky, warned that casinos create a burden to state funds in the form of gambling addiction treatment and family assistance programs.

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Politics
6:01 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Kentucky Senate OKs Charter School Bill

Credit File photo

Voting along strict party lines, the Kentucky Senate has approved a bill that would allow persistently low-performing public schools to become charter schools.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Pension Fixes in Limbo As Leaders Argue Over Approaches

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

 A House bill aiming to help generate revenues for the underfunded pension system is in legal limbo as the Senate refused to accept the bill.

House Bill 416 takes revenues from expansion of Instant Racing and online lottery sales and the start of a Keno game to generate close to $100 million a year to pay into state's currently underfunded pensions for state employees.

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Politics
3:31 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Seniors Rally Against Nursing Home Bill

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — More than 100 senior citizens and advocates rallied Thursday at the Capitol Rotunda in support of several bills before the Kentucky General Assembly—and against one bill in particular.

They urged Kentucky lawmakers to oppose  legislation that creates a panel to review lawsuits against nursing homes and requires those filing suits to pay fees to submit their case to the panel, said Cathy Murphy, associate state director for the AARP.

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Politics
6:39 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Senate Passes Bill To Shut Down Legislative Pension System

Legislative pension reform is moving forward in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The Kentucky state Senate passed Senate Bill 7 today, which would prevent future members of the General Assembly from participating in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System unless they participated in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System as a member of the General Assembly prior to July 1, 2013.

State Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, says that this is the fourth time since 2005 that the state senate has passed measures on reform.

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Politics
3:46 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

With Savannah Dietrich in Mind, Bill Aims to Prevent Gag Orders Against Juvenile Victims

Credit File photo

In the wake of the high-profile Savannah Dietrich court case, a bill in the Kentucky House would prevent judges from issuing gag orders against sexual assault victims undergoing trial in juvenile court.

If approved, House Bill 115 would allow juvenile crime victims to speak freely about their cases, said state Rep. Keith Bratcher, a Louisville Republican.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Most Democratic Kentucky State Senators Lukewarm on Ashley Judd Candidacy

Ashley Judd
Credit U.S. Navy

Kentucky state Senate Democrats are largely lukewarm about the potential for actress and activist Ashley Judd entering the 2014 race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Politics
6:26 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Kentucky Senate Approves Electronic Voting Bill That Requires Snail Mail Returns

Credit Creative Commons

The state Senate has passed a bill that allows Kentucky military personnel to register to vote and receive ballots electronically—but they'll have to use snail mail to send the ballots back.

Senate President Robert Stivers would allow deployed citizens to register to vote and receive their ballots electronically.

Initially, a floor amendment to the bill would have allowed the military members to return the ballots electronically, but the amendment was withdrawn by sponsor Sen. Kathy Stein, a Lexington Democrat.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Gunning for Three Bills, Fairness Campaign Hopes at Least for Kentucky House Hearing

Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — Seeking the passage of three pieces of legislation protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, more than 200 people rallied on Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda with Kentucky's Fairness Campaign. 

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Democrat of Louisville, is  sponsoring a bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. The bill, along with Senate Bill 28, would also make it illegal for landlords and real estate agents to discriminate on those grounds.

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