Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
10:13 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Cannabis Oil Bill Heads to Kentucky House

Credit Wikipedia Commons

A House committee has advanced a bill that would permit state university hospitals to research and utilize medicinal cannabis oil to treat certain neurological disorders.

Judging by the reception that Senate Bill 124 has received in its short lifespan in Frankfort, Rita Wooton likely won’t have to risk jail time in order to alleviate her son’s pain.

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Politics
9:32 am
Thu March 20, 2014

General Assembly: Kentucky Coal-Fired Power Plants Can Regulate Their Own Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

A bill allowing coal-fired power plants in Kentucky to regulate their own carbon dioxide emissions has passed out of both chamber of the state legislature.

The legislation was filed by Rep. Jim Gooch, a Providence Democrat, who has private interests in coal-related businesses. His bill permits coal power plants in Kentucky to regulate their own levels of CO2, one of the major contributors to climate change.

The bill passed in his chamber, as well as the Senate, by unanimous vote.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

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Politics
4:15 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Kentucky Senate OKs Bill Allowing Rand Paul to Run for President and U.S. Senate at the Same Time

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

A bill that would allow U.S. Sen. Rand Paul to run for both the Senate and the Presidency of the United States passed Tuesday out of the Republican-controlled Kentucky Senate.

Senate Bill 205, sponsored by Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer,  would allow a candidate who is running for statewide election to also run for the office of the presidency or vice presidency. It passed by a 25 to 13 vote.

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Politics
6:38 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Chances For a Kentucky Statewide Smoking Ban Are Slim

Credit Shutterstock.com

FRANKFORT — Chances that a smoking ban will pass in Kentucky this year are growing ever more slim.

Each year, about 1,000 Kentuckians die from illnesses related to second-hand smoke, but the Kentucky legislature hasn't come close to passing a ban on smoking in public places and many private businesses.

Last week, state Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat, declared her ban proposal dead after House leadership refused to bring it for a vote on the floor.

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Politics
8:08 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Kentucky House Committee Approves Budget Plan, 'Virtually the Same' as Gov. Steve Beshear's Proposal

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Kentucky lawmakers have a month remaining in the 2014 legislative session, and in that time they must pass a new state budget.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee has approved a series of bills, including a modified version of the governor's proposed $20.3 billion, two-year budget.

Committee Chair Rick Rand says his chamber’s version is “virtually the same” as Gov. Steve Beshear's draft.

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Education
4:14 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Kentucky Legislators May Let School Districts Shorten Their Calendars Because of All Those Snow Days

School-canceling snow in Louisville earlier this year.
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

FRANKFORT—The state House will vote on legislation to allow Kentucky school districts to shorten their instructional calendar by as many as 10 days.

The measure is being promoted as a way for schools to deal with a greater-than-normal number of snow days. State Rep. Brian Linder, a Dry Ridge Republican, says educators in his district realize it often takes a while for bills to become laws.

“I told them I would bring the urgency that we need to make sure that we get this pushed through as quickly as possible so they can get their schedule figured out,” Linder said.

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Local News
7:01 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Local Option Sales Tax Gets Support From All Living Kentucky Governors

Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's push for a local option sales tax in Kentucky has gotten support from all the state's living former governors.

Fischer is again scheduled to testify Tuesday to a House committee about the taxing option, which would allow communities to impose a temporary sales tax to fund specific projects with voter approval.  Fischer expects the committee to vote on the proposal.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

House's Kentucky Budget Proposal Similar to Gov. Steve Beshear's

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — A budget proposal in the Kentucky House will closely resemble the $20 billion biennial budget outlined by Gov. Steve Beshear.

House Appropriations and Revenue chair Rick Rand says that that chamber’s budget will be virtually the same as the governor’s, specifically in the area of education. It largely preserves Beshear’s requests for the funding formula known as SEEK and implements raises for teachers.

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Local News
1:41 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's Push for Local Option Sales Tax Criticized From the Left

Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is continuing his push for the local option sales tax, which would let communities vote on temporary sales tax increases to fund projects. But Fischer, a Democrat,  is facing opposition to the plan—from the left.

In a 15-minute pitch in Frankfort, Fischer extolled the civic virtues of a sales tax that he says would be used to fund local projects chosen by committee and placed on a ballot before voters.

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Politics
7:07 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Kentucky Statewide Smoking Ban Push Stopped by Democratic House Leaders, Bill Sponsor Says

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FRANKFORT — The sponsor of a bill that would ban smoking in public places and some private businesses in Kentucky says House Democratic leadership has killed the measure.

Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington, says a combination of pressure from lobbying groups and political concerns of colleagues with tobacco farms in their districts were behind the bill's failure.

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