2014 Kentucky General Assembly

Local News
5:01 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

General Burnside Island State Park to Lead Way For Park Privatization in Kentucky

General Burnside Island State Park
Credit Kentucky State Parks

The Kentucky Department of Parks is poised to allow private corporations to develop at, or even operate aspects of, state parks, and expansion of previous efforts permitting commercial activity.

Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker suggested to a state legislative committee Thursday that General Burnside State Park, a 400-acre park 10 miles south of Somerset, could serve "as a potential pilot" for the effort.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

State Rep. Tom Burch: Laws Outlawing Marijuana Were 'Ill Advised'

Kentucky state Capitol building.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A Democratic state legislator said he believes legalized medical marijuana in Kentucky is a matter of when, not if.

Still, Senate Republicans are concerned that people would use the drug for recreational purposes.

State Rep.Tom Burch said he remembers when the state outlawed marijuana—and he called it a mistake. 

“I was here when we criminalized the use of marijuana back in the '70s," said Burch, a Louisville Democrat. "It was a rush to, you know, get these criminals off the street, and all this kind of stuff that was going on.

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Local News
5:17 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Kentucky State Police Find No Misconduct By LRC Director Bobby Sherman

Bobby Sherman
Credit Legislative Research Commission

After a nearly seven-month investigation, the Kentucky State Police say investigators found no evidence that former Legislative Research Commission executive director Bobby Sherman shredded work-related documents to cover-up information on sexual harassment within the state legislature.

Trooper Paul Blanton, a KSP spokesman, said a detective concluded that Sherman's activities weren't illegal and weren't part of a cover-up.

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Politics
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Who Spent the Most Lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly In The 2014 Session

Kentucky state Capitol
Credit File photo

Lobbyists spent $8.7 million to lobby Kentucky lawmakers this year—and tobacco giant Altria led the pack at $156,000, according to records released by the Legislative Ethics Commission this week.

Some have pointed to the tobacco lobby's heavy spending during the 2014 session as a major contributing factor in the defeat of a statewide smoking ban.

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Politics
7:03 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Medical Cannabis Oil Will Take a While to Get to Kentucky—Despite Legislature's Intentions

Credit Shutterstock.com

  A new law that would allow state university research hospitals to study and prescribe medical cannabis oil is hitting a few snags on its road to implementation.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Losers, Winners and Lost Causes of the Kentucky General Assembly's 2014 Session

Credit Wikipedia Commons

By law, the only piece of legislation that the 2014  Kentucky General Assembly had to pass was a two-year state budget.

All else, as Will Rogers put it, is applesauce.

And with a session that began with a bang and ended with a whimper, it's what happened in between that House Speaker Greg Stumbo says lawmakers should be "proud" of.

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Politics
5:34 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Kentucky Rep. Jim Gooch Threw Women's Underwear On A Dinner Table, Statehouse Staffers Allege

Rep. Jim Gooch
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT—The two female statehouse employees who previously accused Kentucky Rep. John Arnold of sexually harassing them say another Democratic lawmaker acted inappropriately, this time on an out-of-state trip conducting official legislative business.

Legislative Research Commission employees Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner allege that Rep. Jim Gooch, D-Providence, threw a pair of women's panties onto a dining table at a restaurant during the Southern Legislative Conference held in Mobile, Ala., last year. 

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Environment
2:47 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

What Kentucky's New Law on Carbon Dioxide Emissions Actually Means

Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

Ignoring words of caution from his own administration, Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill directing the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a Kentucky-specific plan for regulating carbon dioxide emissions into law earlier this month.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Mitch McConnell Expresses Outrage at Sexual Harassment 'Cover-Up' in Kentucky House

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Calling it a "cover up," Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky contrasted how he handled a sexual harassment scandal differently than likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes has in recent months.

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Politics
2:55 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Staffers: Lack of African-American Women 'Decision-Makers' in Kentucky Behind Arnold Ethics Verdict

Cassaundra Cooper (l) and Yolanda Costner (r) filing an ethics complain against John Arnold with their attorneys
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

The absence of African-American women in Kentucky's halls of power is why former state Rep. John Arnold hasn't been held accountable.

That's according to Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner, two of the three statehouse staffers who have alleged they were sexually harassed and assaulted by Arnold over a three-year period.

Since August, the Arnold scandal has put the treatment of women in the legislature front and center.

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