Kentucky General Assembly

11:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Beshear Signs Pill Mill Fix Legislation

Credit Melanie Tata/Creative Commons

  Gov. Steve Beshear signed on Tuesday legislation aimed at "fixing" 2012's crackdown on pill mills.

The so-called pill mill fix bill, House Bill 217, exempts hospitals and long term care facilities from constantly running prescribing reports on patients in their care.

But supporters of the bill, including House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Senate President Robert Stivers and Beshear said the new legislation doesn't weaken the 2012 efforts to tackle pill mills—pain clinics that abuse their prescription-writing authority for people seeking pain medication for recreational use.

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5:21 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Comer Says Hemp Bill Will Get Vote Wednesday

Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

It looks like an industrial hemp bill will get a vote in the House Agriculture Committee after all.

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4:31 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Lawmaker Wants to Return to Biennial Sessions

Kentucky should do away with annual sessions of the General Assembly because they haven’t worked the way they were supposed to--that’s the opinion of state Senator Bob Leeper, who is sponsoring legislation that would give voters a chance to repeal a constitutional amendment they approved more than a decade ago.

That amendment authorized the yearly gatherings and Leeper says it was sold to voters as a way to eliminate or reduce “special” sessions.

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3:59 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Statewide Smoking Ban Supporters Make Second Pitch to Kentucky Legislators

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the legislation this session.

The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.

This time, property rights and business rights were the main topic of questioning, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson told the committee that Kentucky's businesses have long supported smoking bans.

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11:25 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Kentucky Pension Bills in 'Legislative Purgatory' as Both Chambers Argue Over Procedure

Robert Stivers and Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — Arguments over how to reform and pay for Kentucky's underfunded pension systems have devolved into legislative chaos.

Both the Kentucky House and the Senate are refusing bills addressing pensions, citing legal or procedural reasons. And leading legislators are blaming each other. 

The 2013 session has eight working days remaining, but doesn't officially close until March 26 to allow time for vetoes and overrides.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the Senate's actions are killing the issue.

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6:00 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Pension Fixes in Limbo As Leaders Argue Over Approaches

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

 A House bill aiming to help generate revenues for the underfunded pension system is in legal limbo as the Senate refused to accept the bill.

House Bill 416 takes revenues from expansion of Instant Racing and online lottery sales and the start of a Keno game to generate close to $100 million a year to pay into state's currently underfunded pensions for state employees.

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3:31 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Seniors Rally Against Nursing Home Bill

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — More than 100 senior citizens and advocates rallied Thursday at the Capitol Rotunda in support of several bills before the Kentucky General Assembly—and against one bill in particular.

They urged Kentucky lawmakers to oppose  legislation that creates a panel to review lawsuits against nursing homes and requires those filing suits to pay fees to submit their case to the panel, said Cathy Murphy, associate state director for the AARP.

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3:02 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Reversing Early Criticism, House Speaker Greg Stumbo Calls Ashley Judd a 'Formidable' Candidate

Ashley Judd
Credit U.S. Navy

After dismissing the idea last fall, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is warming to the idea of actress Ashley Judd running for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Judd has begun reaching out to Kentucky Democratic leaders;  Stumbo said on Thursday that he'll tell Judd that, should she enter, the race is winnable.

"Ashley Judd, if she chooses to get into this race, will be a formidable candidate by the time the race is over I'm convinced of that," Stumbo said.

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11:20 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Senate Committee Advances Fix to 2012 Pill Mill Legislation

Credit Creative Commons

A bill addressing issues with 2012's pill mill bill has cleared a state Senate committee, less than a day after it cleared the full House.

The bill calls off some regulations of the 2012 House Bill 1, which cracked down on prescription pain clinics and abuse. 

It also exempts hospitals and long term care facilities from pulling KASPER reports every time they prescribe medication.

And while some regulations are being pulled back, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said the teeth in the original law are still strong.

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6:39 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Senate Passes Bill To Shut Down Legislative Pension System

Legislative pension reform is moving forward in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The Kentucky state Senate passed Senate Bill 7 today, which would prevent future members of the General Assembly from participating in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System unless they participated in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System as a member of the General Assembly prior to July 1, 2013.

State Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, says that this is the fourth time since 2005 that the state senate has passed measures on reform.

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