Kentucky General Assembly

Local News
5:05 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Frankfort Rally Commemorating 1964 Civil Rights March Focuses on Felon Voting Rights

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FRANKFORT — The fight for civil rights in Kentucky continues 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. led a march in the state Capitol.

The 1964 march on Frankfort agitated for Civil Rights in segregation-era Kentucky, resulting in the passage of the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

A commemorative rally today Wednesday centered on restoring the voting rights for felons. In Kentucky, about one in five African-American males cannot vote because a felony charge, and legislation has been proposed in the General Assembly to restore voting rights to felons.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Bill Sponsor: Tobacco Lobby Influencing Kentucky Statewide Smoking Ban Progress

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FRANKFORT—Tobacco companies have spent nearly $70,000 in the first month of the 2014 General Assembly, according to lobbying data from the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission

And the sponsor of a bill that would ban smoking statewide in Kentucky public places and some private businesses thinks that that money is working to keep her bill in limbo. 

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Politics
7:34 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Idea to Allow Others to Challenge Kentucky Same-Sex Marriage Order Unnecessary, Speaker Says

Greg Stumbo
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says a Republican lawmaker's idea to allow third-parties to appeal a federal judge's order on same-sex marriage wouldn’t require a change in state law.

Sen. Dan Seum, of Louisville, told Kentucky Public Radio that he plans to file a bill that would allow other groups to appeal a decision by U.S. District Judge John Heyburn that the state must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages if Attorney General Jack Conway decides not to.

But Stumbo says that there’s no precedent for such an idea, and that such a bill likely wouldn’t be necessary.

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Politics
9:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Allow Others Besides Attorney General to Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Opinion

Dan Seum
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — A Republican state senator says he intends to file a bill that would allow a third party to appeal a federal judge's order that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

State Sen. Dan Seum tells Kentucky Public Radio that if Attorney General Jack Conway decides not to appeal Judge John Heyburn's opinion, his bill would allow others to do so.

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Politics
7:01 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Medical Marijuana Bill Heads to Kentucky House

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FRANKFORT—The movement to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky made another leap forward on Thursday.

A House Health and Welfare Committee, packed to bursting with medical marijuana supporters, approved a bill that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. It passed by a 9-5 partisan line vote, with Democrats voting in support of the measure.

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Politics
8:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Kentucky Senate Committee OKs Cannabis Oil Bill

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Rita Wooton holds up her smartphone and plays a video: Her three-year-old son, Eli, clad in a diaper, writhes on a couch, his limbs twitching, his lips a pale shade of blue.

Eli has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, or LGS, a rare neurological disorder that causes chronic seizures. Her son has suffered thousands of them, causing extensive brain damage, Wooton says.

A bill that would legalize the use of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes cleared on Wednesday a state Senate committee.

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Politics
10:00 am
Wed February 26, 2014

'Patent Troll' Bill Clears Kentucky Senate

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A bill that seeks to limit claims of patent infringement of intellectual property in Kentucky cleared the state Senate  onTuesday.

Senate Bill 116 would crack down on patent infringement claims by groups known as "patent trolls," which seek to exploit patent law for monetary gain.

The bill, filed by Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel, passed the chamber by a 31 to 7 vote. But dissenters in that chamber argued that patent enforcement is a federal matter, and that McDaniel’s bill could lead to large companies bullying smaller patent holders.

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Politics
9:00 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Kentucky Statewide Smoking Ban an 'Uphill Battle,' House Speaker Greg Stumbo Says

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FRANKFORT — Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says that mustering legislative support for a bill that would ban smoking in private businesses and public areas is “an uphill battle.”

Stumbo, a Democrat, says that the bill, sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat, has only a handful of Republican votes and about 30 Democratic votes.

Despite his support, Stumbo says some lawmakers are apprehensive about the ban.

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Education
2:33 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Testing Waivers for Kentucky School Districts of Innovation Wins House Committee Approval

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A bill that would modify student assessments in Kentucky public schools has unanimously cleared a House committee.

The measure would permit schools participating in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Districts of Innovation program to implement new testing methods to assess student performance.

Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens testified before the House Education Committee Tuesday morning, saying that alternative assessments won’t be any less rigorous than current ones.

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Education
7:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Kentucky House OKs Planning-Time Expansion for Elementary School Teachers

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Kentucky teachers would have a minimum of 24 minutes a day in their schedule for planning under a bill moving through the General Assembly.

The state House easily approved the measure Friday that requires teachers to get at least 120 minutes a week for non-teaching activities.  

“The big issue of this bill is teacher directed, so the teacher can decide that day what she feels or he feels they need to plan for," state Rep., Rita Smart, a Richmond Democrat and the primary bill sponsor.

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