Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
2:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers to Discuss Local Option Sales Tax

Credit File photo

A committee in the Kentucky General Assembly will discuss the idea of giving local voters an option to raise their sales tax to fund special projects.

State lawmakers tell WFPL they are keeping an open mind, but some cite a recent study showing Louisville is already a heavily tax-burdened city.

For the past year, Mayor Greg Fischer has been lobbying the General Assembly and others to support the idea.

The specifics haven't been unveiled, but in general a local option would allow voters to approve a temporary 1-percent tax increase that would go towards specific efforts such as new infrastructure.

A report conducted by the University of Louisville found such as tool could generate up to $138 million in revenue for the city.

Democratic state Rep. Steve Riggs of Louisville is co-chair of the Interim Committee on Local Government, which is holding a hearing to discuss the proposal on Wednesday.

He says a temporary tax is an intriguing idea, but it is important legislators learn more about the proposal.

"I'm leaning for it because I see so many other communities around the nation that do it and I love letting the citizen decide and giving the citizen the liberty to determine where there money goes without sending it to Frankfort first and then it goes somewhere else. I love that part of it,” he says.

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Local News
7:12 am
Sun September 22, 2013

After Cuts, How Many Fewer Children Are Using Kentucky's Child Care Assistance Program?

Credit Creative Commons

Earlier this week, Kentucky children's advocates and others lobbied state legislators to halt drastic cuts to a program that provides financial aid to low-income working families to cover child care costs.

Those cuts, announced earlier this year, changed the eligibility requirements for the Kentucky Child Care Assistance Program. They went into full effect on July 1. 

It's been two months. Here's how many kids have lost access to CCAP.

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Local News
6:21 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Finishes Inquiry Into John Arnold Sexual Harassment Claims

Former Rep. John Arnold
Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

A letter from the Legislative Research Commission detailing what it said is its agency’s handling of sexual harassment complaints against former Kentucky state Rep. John Arnold “raises more questions than answers,” said an attorney representing two of Arnold's accusers.

Laura Hendrix, general counsel to the LRC, wrote in a Sept. 19 letter to attorney Thomas Clay that “the LRC investigative team has concluded the investigation into assertions brought by your clients Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner regarding Representative John Arnold.”

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Politics
2:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky House Committee Investigating Claims Against John Arnold to Meet on Tuesday

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

A special state House committee tasked with investigating claims of sexual harassment against outgoing Democratic Rep. John Arnold will meet for the first time Tuesday morning in Frankfort.

The five-member investigating committee formed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, has been given the job of examining claims made by employees of the Legislative Research Commission whom alleged that Arnold sexually harassed and assaulted them over a period of several years.

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Politics
3:41 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

State Rep. John Arnold Resigns, Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations in Letter

John Arnold
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

State Rep. John A. Arnold Jr. resigned Friday amid allegations that he'd sexually harassed three Statehouse employees.

Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, turned in his resignation letter to Gov. Steve Beshear. 

"I respect his decision to step aside so that our legislators can focus instead on the business of the state," Beshear said in a statement confirming the receipt of Arnold's letter.

Beshear said he'll begin reviewing options for a special session so that people in Arnold's seventh district will have representation during the 2012 legislative session.

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Local News
2:44 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Calls for Review of Legislature's Workplace Policies

Rep. Sannie Overly
Overly campaign

State Rep. Sannie Overly is calling for an independent review of the legislature's policies regarding workplace behavior in the wake of sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker. 

Overly, chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday she intends to file a bill next year to mandate the review and create a new personnel system that would ensure a harassment-free workplace. 

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Politics
5:31 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

State Sen. Julie Denton Hopes to Bring 'Integrity' to Louisville Metro Council

State Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, is running for Metro Council
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

Saying she wants to bring integrity to City Hall, Republican state Sen. Julie Denton is forgoing re-election to run for Louisville Metro Council next year.

The surprise move means the longtime state lawmaker is leaving the GOP-controlled Senate, where she currently chairs the chamber’s Health and Welfare Committee, for a council dominated by Democrats.

"I've tried to play well with both sides of the aisle in both chambers while in Frankfort. I've never been a chairman who decided what bills are going to be heard based upon who the support of the bill was," says Denton. "If somebody's got good public policy I think we need to be moving that forward."

Joined by a handful of council Republicans who are supporting Denton's early bid, she is running on a platform to bring transparency and accountability to Metro Government.

Asked about the council's public image in the aftermath of the Barbara Shanklin removal trial, Denton says it was an unfortunate moment in council history that has put a "dark cloud" over the chamber.

"I wasn't there to hear the testimony and only read what was on the news. But based on the fact the majority found her guilty I found it surprising that she wasn't removed," she says.

Denton will be running for the seat currently held by Councilman Jerry Miller, who is leaving the council at the end of his term to make a bid for the state House next year.

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Politics
1:36 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Republican State Senator Julie Denton Running for Louisville Metro Council

Kentucky State Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Update: State Sen. Julie Denton has announced Monday afternoon that she's running for Louisville Metro Council.

Earlier: Republican state Sen. Julie Denton of Louisville will not seek re-election next year, WFPL News has learned.

A spokesperson for Senate President Robert Stivers told the radio station Denton did not discuss her future plans, but informed Stivers this weekend she will not be filing to retain her east Louisville district seat in 2014.

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Politics
7:43 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

State Rep. John Arnold's Accusers File Complaint Against Employer Alleging Race Discrimination

Credit File photo

Two women who filed formal ethics complaints against Kentucky state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr. have also filed complaints with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. The complaints allege both Arnold and the women’s employer, the Legislative Research Commission, discriminated against them on the basis of race and gender.

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Local News
3:31 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Rep. Tom Riner Calls for Rep. John Arnold's Resignation From Kentucky General Assembly

John A. Arnold Jr.
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

State Rep. Tom Riner is calling for the resignation of his House colleague John A. Arnold Jr., who is facing sexual harassment allegations from three separate Statehouse employees.

Riner told WFPL on Monday that Arnold's resignation would spare the three accusers from the process that follows the complaints they've recently filed in the state Legislative Ethics Commission.

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