Kentucky General Assembly

Education
5:52 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Hosts Debate on Charter Schools

Wayne Lewis and Mary Ruple
Credit Jonathan Meador/Kentucky Public Radio

LEXINGTON — As one of eight states without charter school legislation on its books, the debate in Kentucky is only getting louder as the January session of the General Assembly draws closer.

Wayne Lewis of the Kentucky Charter Schools Association and charter opponent Mary Ruble, assistant executive director of the Kentucky Education Association, duked it out over the course of an hour in a debate hosted by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

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Politics
9:00 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Outgoing Kentucky State Sen. Kathy Stein a Progressive Crusader

Kathy Stein during the 2013 General Assembly session
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

It’s Jan. 26, 2012, and on the floor of the Kentucky Senate, Sen. Kathy Stein is upset.

Nothing new for Stein. She’s earned a reputation as a crusader for progressive causes, including women’s rights and LGBT equality.

But on this day, after four years in the Senate, Stein’s outspokenness has, in a way, come back to haunt her: A new district map devised by Republican Senate leadership has effectively moved Stein out of the 13th, a liberal stronghold comprised of downtown Lexington and the University of Kentucky.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Affordable Care Act Elicits Anger, Confusion From Kentucky Lawmakers

Credit Shutterstock.com

While Kentucky's implementation of the Affordable Care Act has received national attention, state lawmakers from both parties are not pleased with parts of the legislation.

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Politics
7:30 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Files ‘Second Chance’ Bill to Help Low-Level, First Time Felons

Credit fbi.gov

Saying it is hard for Kentuckians who committed low-level offenses to get a job or participate in their child’s school, state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, is filing legislation to make it easier for certain felons to expunge their records.

The bill has been pre-filed for the General Assembly’s 2014 legislative session and would allow those imprisoned for a non-violent or non-sexual crime with no prior offenses or pending felony case to erase that conviction from their record.

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Bill Allowing for 'Benefit Corporations' Filed in Kentucky General Assembly

Credit File photo

A bill has been pre-filled in the Kentucky legislature that would permit the founding of “benefit corporations.”

State  Rep. Kelly Flood, a Democrat from Lexington, said she is pushing the legislation to address shortcomings in modern-day capitalism. Conventional wisdom dictates that non-profits do the most good without making any money, and for-profit corporations make the most money without caring about what’s right or what’s wrong.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Republican State Senator Damon Thayer Hits Breaks on Kentucky Felon Voting Rights

Kentucky Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,
Credit File photo

A Republican leader in the Kentucky Senate says GOP members are not warming to the restoration of felon voting rights despite U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's support of the issue.

The response comes days after Paul staffers said they had been in contact with state lawmakers about the voting rights of ex-convicts

Democratic Senator Gerald Neal of Louisville told WFPL he was beginning to see opposition to his proposal wane earlier this week.

Neal's bill would automatically restore the civil rights of certain convicted felons unless they committed an intentional killing, treason, bribery or a sex crime.

Paul spokesman Dan Bayens said no specific bill has been discussed. However, GOP state senators appeared to be "more open to the conversation" than in years past he said.

But Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown made it clear it's too early to make predictions and that other issues remain a priority.

"It’s way too early for pundits to start handicapping the chances of legislation that may or may not pass sometime between January and April when we adjourn the session," he says.

The GOP holds a 23-seat majority in the 38-member state Senate. The one independent caucuses with the Republicans.

If felons' rights are to come up in the 2014 General Assembly it might have to be tied to a more conservative measure such as a possible voter ID bill in order to pass.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Opposition to Felon Voting Rights Thawing, Kentucky Lawmaker Says

Credit Courtesy of Alex Lee, Wikimedia Commons

Saying Kentucky state senators have been the historical roadblock, Democrat Gerald Neal of Louisville has pre-filed a bill to restore voting rights to certain former felons.

Movement on the proposal comes weeks after U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke out in favor of restoring felons' voting rights at the state and federal levels, which many observers argue is an indication the GOP may be changing its view on the issue.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission Finds Probable Cause in John Arnold Sexual Harassment Claims

Kentucky State Capitol
Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s highest ethics panel has found merit in a trio of sexual harassment complaints filed against a former state lawmaker.

The state Legislative Ethics Commission unanimously found probable cause Tuesday in three formal complaints filed by female Statehouse employees against former Rep. John Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis in western Kentucky.

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Politics
5:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Special Election Set for December to Replace John Arnold in Kentucky General Assembly

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear has set a special election for Dec. 10 to replace former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis, who resigned last month after being accused of sexual harassment.

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Politics
4:48 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Kentucky State Sen. Kathy Stein, a Liberal Voice, Accepts Fayette Co. Judgeship

Kathy Stein
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein has been appointed to an open family court judgeship in Fayette County, which removes one of Kentucky's most liberal lawmakers from the Legislature.

Gov. Steve Beshear made the appointment on Monday.

Stein had been in the state Senate since 2009. She also served in the House for 11 years, including a stint as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

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