Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
8:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

There Hasn’t Been a Black Woman in Kentucky’s Legislature Since 2000

Democrat Ashley Miller is vying for a Kentucky House seat this year. If elected, Miller would be the first black woman to serve in the General Assembly since 2000.

The special election of Democrat Reggie Thomas to the Kentucky Senate may have had little political consequence last December, but it did make history.

Voters made Thomas just the eighth black Kentuckian currently serving in the state legislature.

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Politics
6:26 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Lawsuit Claims Western Kentucky Lawmaker Misused Company Funds for Campaign

Ben Waide
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A Western Kentucky lawmaker is accused of using company money to inappropriately fund campaign activities.

A complaint filed by shareholders of Liberty Rehabilitation alleges that Rep. Ben Waide used over $30,000 of that business's funds to bankroll campaigning.

Waide is the company’s president, and the suit further alleges the Maidsonville Republican used company money to pay for unauthorized massages and a trip to St. Louis with his wife. Further, it claims he pocketed official state travel reimbursements charged to Liberty’s account.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Speaker: Kentucky House May Still Investigate John Arnold Sexual Harassment Allegations

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT—The Kentucky House may take up further investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in the Statehouse.

Late last year, a committee looking into allegations against former Representative John Arnold disbanded without launching a formal investigation. House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters Friday that he received a letter from the chair of that panel.

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Politics
4:02 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo: Let's Make the Minimum Wage $10.10

Greg Stumbo
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is sponsoring legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage.

House Bill 1 would raise the rate from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over three years.

The increase is needed to keep wages in line with inflation, and would help struggling working-class families across the state, Stumbo says.

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Politics
6:55 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Kentucky's State Budget Outlook Worst in Recent Memory, Report Says

Credit Wikipedia Commons

A survey of Kentucky's economy says lawmakers have a choice between reinvesting in services or making more cuts to government.

The report says $250 million in additional revenue won’t be enough to meet the state’s most pressing needs. The report was  released Thursday by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.

Director Jason Bailey says this is the worst outlook in recent memory, and lawmakers must find ways to increase revenues to reverse the negative effects of budget cuts.

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Local News
12:00 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Kentucky Senate President: Local Option Sales Tax Presents a Dilemma for Republicans

Robert Stivers
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

An effort in Kentucky to fund projects with a new local option sales tax is posing a dilemma for Republican lawmakers.

Democratic Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer pushing for the state to allow for the local option sales tax, which would allow communities to have public votes on temporary sales tax increases to pay for new projects.

But Republican State Senate President Robert Stivers says it's difficult to balance higher taxes against civic improvement.

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Local News
6:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Kentucky Lawmaker Proposes Changing Highway Name for Slain Bardstown Officer Jason Ellis

Jason Ellis
Credit Bardstown Police Department

A Kentucky lawmaker wants to rename a stretch of highway in Nelson County to honor Jason Ellis, the Bardstown Police officer ambushed and murdered on duty in May.

A 13 mile stretch of the Bluegrass Parkway from 31-E to Highway 55, would be renamed the "Jason Ellis Memorial Highway," said State Rep. David Floyd, a Bardstown Republican. Floyd said it won't make up for the community's loss, but it's a fitting tribute.

He introduced the legislation after a number of requests from his constituents.

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Politics
9:00 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers: No Trading Votes for Expanded Gambling

Robert Stivers
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky's highest-ranking Republican lawmaker says he will oppose any expanded gambling measure that uses political patronage to garner support.

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says he isn't opposed to expanded gaming if it has unified support, but he doesn’t want the issue to be advanced by a trade of votes for pet projects.

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Politics
10:00 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Steve Beshear Touts Healthcare Exchange Rollout as a Top 2013 Accomplishment

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state’s implementation of the federal health care law is one of his administration's top accomplishments in 2013.

Beshear says his decision to implement the state health care exchange and expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was an effort to address Kentucky’s historically low health rankings.

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Politics
4:00 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

House Speaker Greg Stumbo: Kentucky Facing Gap in Funds and What Needs Funding

Greg Stumbo
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s budget priorities may require some $800 million in revenue the state doesn’t have.

The gap between what the state needs to spend to maintain the status quo and how much it’s bringing in will be a point of contention for lawmakers and state agencies.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo told a group of business leaders this month that the spending deficit could exceed $800 million.

And he says that it’s unlikely the state will have that money until Kentucky fully recovers from the 2008 recession. But, it’s coming.

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