Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
2:18 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

House Committees Makes Major Changes to Pension Reform Bill

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The state pension system would not transition to a hybrid 401K-style plan in an amended version of the pension reform bill.

The amended bill also only allows plans to set up a new 11-person committee to provide direct oversight over the pension systems.

And cost of living adjustments are no longer banned under the bill, but can only be allowed if there is a surplus in the retirement systems or if lawmakers prepay for the expense.

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Politics
11:48 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Persistently Low-Achieving Schools Could Become Charters Under Kentucky Senate Bill

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Kentucky persistently low-achieving schools would be able to become charter schools to improve performance and test scores under a bill discussed Tuesday in the state Senate Education Committee.

The charter schools bill adds charters a a fifth option for what the state now calls "priority schools—schools that persistently get low scores.  The current options include re-staffing of teachers, firing the principal, giving the school up to outside management or closing the schools.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Legislative Fix to 2012 Pill Mill Bill Passes House Judiciary Committee

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A bill addressing problems with last year's prescription pill mill bill has cleared the House Judiciary Committee.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is sponsoring the bill, which reduces some tough regulations that followed the pill mill bill.  The legislation, House Bill 217, requires hospitals and long term care facilities to still pull KASPER reports, but lessens other regulations on them

Stumbo told lawmakers that the bill would help codify easier regulations that were recently published and that the effort to crackdown on prescription pill abuse was effective.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Bill Dealing With Medicaid Late Payments Has Support in Senate

Julie Denton
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

A bill  moving Medicaid late payment claims to the Department of Insurance appears to have some support in the state Senate.

House Bill 5 would take prompt pay issues with the Medicaid managed care system and put it through the Insurance Department's current claims process. Currently, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services deal with late claims.

Sen. Julie Denton, chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said she plans to give the bill a hearing and supports the bill's attempts to make managed care organizations pay providers.

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Politics
1:51 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Bill Would Allow Public-Private Partnerships For Big Construction Projects

Brent Spence Bridge
Credit Creative Commons

State Rep. Sannie Overly has filed a bill that will allow the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to explore public-private partnerships to help construction projects with big price tags.

The bill doesn't specifically name any projects, but Kentucky currently has multiple instances where the bill could help work start, namely the Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky and Interstate 69 in western Kentucky.

Overly, a Paris Democrat, said the goal is to help the state have one more avenue to help fund its infrastructure projects.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Universities Can Start Construction Immediately As Projects Bill Signed Into Law

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Six Kentucky's public universities can immediately start construction on more than $300 million in construction or renovation projects, including a $110-million renovation of Lexington's Commonwealth Stadium.

Governor Steve Beshear signed House Bill 7 into law on Thursday.

The bill authorizes bonds and other funds to help build academic buildings, dorms and other necessities at the universities. It assures no public money will be used for the projects.

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Politics
1:27 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Bill Transferring Kentucky Medicaid Late Payments to Insurance Department Clears House Committee

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House Speaker Greg Stumbo's bill that would transfer late payments claims in Medicaid managed care has cleared its first committee.

The legislation moves dealing with late payment issues between health care providers and managed care organizations to the Department of Insurance's third party system. Currently, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services deals with those issues—but how those issues are dealt with has become a major issue in Kentucky's managed care system.

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Politics
11:42 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Under Amended Electronic Voting Bill, Kentucky Military Voters Would Have to Snail Mail Ballots

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Kentucky military personnel could get their election ballots electronically—but the ballots would have to be printed and returned to county clerks via snail mail, under changes made to a bill Thursday in a state Senate committee meeting.

The bill—a priority for Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes—originally called for military personnel to be able to get and return ballots electronically.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Gunning for Three Bills, Fairness Campaign Hopes at Least for Kentucky House Hearing

Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — Seeking the passage of three pieces of legislation protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, more than 200 people rallied on Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda with Kentucky's Fairness Campaign. 

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Democrat of Louisville, is  sponsoring a bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. The bill, along with Senate Bill 28, would also make it illegal for landlords and real estate agents to discriminate on those grounds.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

University Bonding Bill Passes Both Chambers, Likely to Be Signed by Governor Immediately

Credit J. Glover/Creative Commons

A bill allowing most of Kentucky's public universities to start more than $360 million in bonding projects has officially cleared both legislative chambers.

The Senate passed the bill 36-1 today, with Sen. John Schickel, a Union Republican, as the lone dissenting vote. 

The bill allows six of the state's eight public universities to start projects such as dorm renovations, construction of academic buildings and renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.

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