Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
9:33 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Kentucky Senate OKs AT&T-Backed Bill Ending Landline Service Requirement

Credit Creative Commons

A bill backed by AT&T that would deregulate telecommunications in Kentucky has passed the state Senate.

Senators voted 34 to 4 on Thursday in favor of the bill. It would end requirements for telephone service providers to offer landlines to urban areas. It would also prohibit the Public Service Commission from arbitrating consumer complaints over broadband services.

AT&T contends the legislation will allow it to invest in high-speed broadband and Internet telephone services, and that the bill won’t affect existing services in rural areas.

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Bumping Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Help Kentucky Workers, Reduce Child Poverty

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Raising Kentucky's minimum wage would reduce child poverty and help about a quarter of the state's workers, said a brief released Wednesday by an economic think tank.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy say a $10.10 per hour minimum wage would lead to a boost in consumer spending.

That, they say, would spur job creation and allow low-income families to make ends meet.

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Local News
5:00 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Kentucky House Committee OKs Felon Expungement Bill

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A bill that would remove certain non-violent felonies from criminal records has cleared a Kentucky House committee.

Filed by Louisville Rep. Darryl Owens, the bill would expunge charges after five years, as long as they don't lead to a federal criminal indictment. The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee by a 18 to 8 vote largely along party lines. Only one Republican joined the committee's Democrats in support of the bill.

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Thomas Hill testified in support of the measure.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Hal Heiner Launches New Group to Elect State House Republicans

Republican Hal Heiner

Former Louisville mayoral candidate Hal Heiner is launching a new group aimed at helping Kentucky Republicans win a majority in the state House.

The political organization is called New Direction Kentucky, and as an independent expenditure it will be able to raise and spend an unlimited amount of money to aid GOP candidates running this year.

Democrats are clinging to a 54-46 majority in the lower chamber, and many observers believe 2014 could be the year Republicans take over.

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Politics
4:38 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems Director: State's Pension Debt is $17 Billion

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Kentucky's state pension systems are slated to have to pay out more than $17 billion that the state doesn't have.

That's according to William Thielen, who is director of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Thielen testified before lawmakers in Frankfort Monday. He says the state's various pension funds have only a fraction of what they need to pay all potential retirees.

Thielen says if lawmakers make good on a promise to fund the pensions with the recommend amount, called the ARC, it'll take a few years before the unfunded liability starts to drop.

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Politics
10:37 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Moral Character Amendment Added to Kentucky Incentives Program Bill for State Employees

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A bill that creates incentive programs for employees of the Legislative Research Commission who find ways to save money is working its way through the Kentucky General Assembly.

But an amendment to the bill changes the focus and attempts to add criteria for hiring the LRC's next director.

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Local News
12:47 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Kentucky's Zombie of a Pension Problem

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“They was saying on the news, some kind of virus… things got crazy… man, you won’t believe the panic… the broadcasts stopped, and that was the last we heard.” —AMC's "The Walking Dead"

AMC’s hit zombie apocalypse melodrama "The Walking Dead" is a story about a deadly, shambling mass of cannibal undead that brings human civilization to its knees.

But Chris Tobe argues that the show is an apt metaphor for the financial Armageddon he believes the state is inching toward as a result of declining revenue and unfunded pension liabilities.

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Local News
4:27 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Kentucky House to Vote on Cyber Security Improvements for State Government

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A bill improving cyber security for Kentucky state government will get a vote in the House.

Consider the Black Friday security breach that compromised credit card information for over a hundred million Target customers, Should hackers ever comprise computers in a Kentucky state government agency, House Bill 5 would require the state to tell you what happened.

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Politics
8:00 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Kentucky Senate OKs 'Informed Consent' Abortion Bill

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A bill requiring women in Kentucky seeking abortions to consult with a physician in-person 24-hours before the procedure cleared on Wednesday the state Senate.

It passed 33-5.

The measure's most vocal critic was a newly elected senator whose seat has been home to some of that chamber’s most outspoken liberal voices.

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Environment
3:43 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Gov. Steve Beshear's Budget Cuts Deep for Some Kentucky Energy and Environment Programs

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Some departments of the Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet will see deep cuts over the next two years, if the General Assembly approves Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget.

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