Kentucky General Assembly

9:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Kentucky House Republicans Propose Redistricting Plan

Credit File photo

House Republican leaders are offering a legislative redistricting plan that would force eight incumbents to run against each other next year.

The map unveiled Thursday by House GOP Leader Jeff Hoover affects four Republicans and four Democratic lawmakers. Hoover says the GOP plan is very different from a plan put forth earlier this year by Democrats that had nine Republicans running against each other but no Democrats.

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6:13 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Congressional Redistricting May Be Done Over, Says Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Congressional redistricting that was completed last year may have to be redone in an upcoming special legislative session, adding one more potential complication to what has become a protracted effort by Kentucky lawmakers redraw political boundaries.

Gov. Steve Beshear raised the possibility of redrawing congressional maps during an impromptu press conference Monday outside his Capitol office.

The prospect arose because House Democrats are looking to exclude some 8,500 federal prison inmates from the population count used to redraw legislative districts. The problem is that those prisoners were included when lawmakers reconfigured congressional lines.

Beshear said if lawmakers decide to exclude federal prisoners from legislative and judicial districts, then they'd have to be taken out of the congressional ones as well.

"The idea is to make sure that all of them are done on a consistent basis," Beshear said.

The governor said the congressional districts would require only "limited" adjustments if that's the route lawmakers choose to take.

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Local News
3:39 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Beshear Asks Feds to Look Into Economic Benefits of Hemp

Gov. Steve Beshear is asking federal officials to look into whether industrial hemp could be grown in Kentucky without hindering drug eradication efforts.

Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year that lays the groundwork for hemp farming if the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were to lift restrictions on the crop.

Beshear allowed the bill to become law without his signature, saying he shared concerns raised by law enforcement about how industrial hemp could be used to hide an illegal marijuana crop.    

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10:25 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Noise and Notes: John-Mark Hack's Fight Against Frankfort's Party System

Independent John-Mark Hack

Independent John-Mark Hack is running for the state House in an uphill battle against two well-funded opponents.

The special election for the 56th District seat in central Kentucky is a contest that could be a sign if Republicans overtake the Democratic majority in next years elections.

But for Hack, this race is about constituents rejecting the special interests of both political parties.

A former Democrat, Hack worked as an aide in former Gov. Paul Patton's administration and has passion for food issues. He's also a well-known anti-gaming activist, which is one of the reasons he left the party.

Hack says he isn't a spoiler for the Democrats as GOP candidate Lyen Crews has suggested, and is honestly seeking to change Frankfort's culture.

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3:18 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Derrick Graham Picked As New Kentucky House Education Chair

Derrick Graham
Credit Legislative Research Commission

State Rep. Derrick Graham has been named the new chairman of the state House Education committee, Democratic leaders announced today. 

Graham is a Frankfort native who recently retired as a social studies teacher at Frankfort High School. He is a well-known education advocate and previously chaired a budget subcommittee on education. 

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1:34 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Internet Sales Tax Bill Could Restore Some State Budget Cuts, Kentucky Group Says


Your online purchases could alleviate some of Kentucky's budget woes.

The federal legislation that allows states to collect sales taxes from more online retailers would benefit the Kentucky state budget, argues a policy group focused on economic policy.

If such legislation passed, Kentucky could gain $130 million to $200 million in revenue per year, the state's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has estimated.

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Local News
11:49 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Comer Hopeful That Federal Farm Bill Will Include Hemp Provision

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
File photo

Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says a recent legislative setback shouldn't cause hemp supporters to give up hopes of getting the crop legalized. James Comer says he's not surprised that language legalizing industrial hemp wasn’t added to the first drafts of farm bills in the U.S. House and Senate.

Last week, a group of Kentucky U.S. Senators and House members tried--and failed--to get the provision included in the legislation.

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3:56 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Independent State House Candidate Releases 10-Point Platform to Improve State Government

Independent state House candidate John-Mark Hack

Independent state house candidate John-Mark Hack released a 10-point platform aimed at making Kentucky's government more accountable and transparent.

Hack is running for the 56th House District seat covering Woodford County, including parts Frankfort and Lexington vacated by former state Rep. Carl Rollins, who resigned.

The three-way special election also features Republican Lyen Crews and Democrat James Kay, and is being closely watched due to the close party margins in the state House, where Democrats hold the majority by just a 5-seat margin.

The proposals unveiled by Hack's campaign on Friday include withholding the salaries of state lawmakers if they fail to pass a budget, creating a non-partisan commission to draw legislative district lines and eliminating annual sessions.

Hack says the proposals are about changing the political culture of "arrogance and self-interest" in Frankfort.

Check them out:

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Local News
2:30 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Beshear Wants to Call Fall Special Session on Redistricting

Kentucky Governor's Office

It appears likely that Governor Beshear will call a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to redraw legislative districts for the House and Senate.   The governor says details are still being worked out.

"I’m talking with legislative leaders in the House and Senate right now," Beshear said.   "And I think everybody, if we can work it out, would probably like to do it in the fall and let everybody have the summer while kids are out of school and they have some vacation time, and then wait until we get in back in school before we have the special session."

7:00 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Kentucky Democrats, Republicans Focused on Special House Election

Credit File photo

The special election for the 56th House District—covering Woodford County and portions of Fayette and Franklin county—will likely be the only election this year.

This puts added pressure on both parties to come through with a victory, as Democrats try to maintain their majority and Republicans attempt to make in-roads in taking the House. Republican nominee Lyen Crews faces defeat Democrat James Kay on June 25

Right now, Democrats have a five seat majority over Republicans.

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