Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
1:14 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Kentucky Hemp Supporters Blast Amendment Calling for Further Study

James Comer
Credit File photo

Kentucky's industrial hemp supporters lashed out Thursday against a last-minute amendment to the hemp bill that's been under consideration this year in the General Assembly.

State Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Sandy Hook Democrat and the majority floor leader, has proposed an amendment turning the Senate-approve hemp bill into a five year study. It also gives the licensing responsibilities to Kentucky State Police, which argues that legalized hemp would harm law enforcement efforts to target hemp's cousin, marijuana.

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Politics
3:30 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Governor Beshear: Pension Talks Keep Going, but No Deal Imminent

Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

State leaders are still working to find solutions to the Kentucky's troubled pension system—but he's not promising a deal the time the General Assembly regular session ends next week, Gov. Steve Beshear said on Monday.

Beshear has mediated sessions between House and Senate leadership on reforming the pension systems and how to fund them, after the chambers came to an impasse on the issue.

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Politics
3:19 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Gov. Beshear Signs Bill Gradually Raising Dropout Age to 18

Credit Shutterstock.com

After five years of advocacy, supporters of raising Kentucky's dropout age to 18  celebrated Monday as Gov. Steve Beshear signed the bill into law.

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Politics
11:00 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Tea Party Activists Encourage Kentucky Senators to Reject Insurance Commissioner's Nomination

Sharon Clark
Credit Kentucky Department of Insurance

With only two days left in the legislative session, Tea Party activists are encouraging Kentucky state senators to not confirm Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark.  

So far, the Senate has approved all of Gov. Steve Beshear's appointments except Clark. Many activists are upset with her role in implementing the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky and they hope to send a message to the governor by blocking her nomination.

A Senate spokeswoman says whether lawmakers will consider the nomination when they return from recess later this month is still “to be determined.”

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Politics
12:55 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

As Session Nears Close, Kentucky Legislators Grapple with Smelter Issue

The smokestack of an aluminum smelting plant, 1973.
Credit Doug Wilson / Environmental Protection Agency

With only two days left in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, time is running out for supporters of legislation meant to keep two western Kentucky aluminum smelters—which employ about 3,000 people—from closing.

Under state law, the smelters are required to purchase electricity from the nearest company—Big Rivers Electric, in this case.  The smelters say lower aluminum prices have them struggling to pay the bills; they're asking for more options for where they get electricity.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Kentucky General Assembly Nears End. What Passed, What's Left and What's Left for Dead.

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers working late Tuesday night.
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky legislators have returned home for the next 12 days after passing a flurry of bills in the recent days of the 2013 General Assembly session.

But many big issues still remain on the table and lawmakers will have two days left—March 25 and 26—to hammer out any remaining issues, including pensions and military voting bills. 

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Politics
11:16 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Kentucky Legislators to Keep Working on Military Voting, Pension Reform After Adjourning Tuesday

Senate President Robert Stivers talks with other legislators.
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — Two priorities of Kentucky lawmakers will spill over to the so-called veto period of the 2013 legislative sessions after the issues could not be resolved by the end of Tuesday.

Legislators were unable to compromise on pension reform and the military electronic voting bill before both legislative chambers adjourned until March 25.

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Politics
4:52 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear: No Deal on Pension Reform In Sight, Special Session Becomes More Likely

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

With no deal and time running out, a special session is becoming more likely for Kentucky lawmakers to reform the underfunded pension programs for state employees, Gov. Steve Beshear said on Tuesday.

It's unlikely that the General Assembly will address pension reform before legislators leave Frankfort after Tuesday for a brief period called the veto break, Beshear said. Legislators have 

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Compromise Reached, Special Taxing District Reform to Become Law

Adam Edelen
Credit File photo

Kentucky lawmakers reached a deal Monday in a conference committee on legislation addressing issues with special taxing districts.

The committee adopted a new proposal that would require special districts to present their annual budgets or any new fee increases to their local fiscal court. But the compromise on House Bill 1 does not allow the fiscal court veto or approval powers of the special district's actions, as Senate Republicans had recently suggested.

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Politics
7:31 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

House Passes Military Voting Bill, With Electronic Return Included

A bill designed  to allow Kentuckians in the military deployed overseas vote electronically has cleared the House, after amendments returned Senate Bill 1 to a full electronic system.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is the main promoter of the bill and urged House lawmakers to return to full electronic provisions after the Senate did not include the electronic return of a ballot.

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