Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
7:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Kentucky State Senator to File Statewide Fairness Bill

Fairness demonstrators in the state Capitol in 2013.
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT — A Louisville state senator says he will file a bill that would make it illegal for employers in Kentucky to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation.

In a speech on the issue, Sen. Morgan McGarvey began by discussing the plight of University of Missouri tight end and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam, who recently came out as gay.

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Politics
7:30 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Kentucky State Trooper Commissioner: Budget Cuts Have Led to Staff Shortage

Rodney Brewer
Credit Kentucky State Police

FRANKFORT — Kentucky's top state trooper says his agency is suffering from a shortage in staff.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer told a state House committee that years of flatlining budgets and a proposed 2.5 percent cut under Gov. Steve Beshear’s latest spending plan have put a squeeze on the agency.

Brewer says expenses in employee retirement, healthcare costs and fleet maintenance have led to layoffs.

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Politics
9:00 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Kentucky House OKs College Scholarship Program for Coal Counties

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would provide up to $5,000 in college scholarships for high-school students in Kentucky's coal-producing counties has passed the state House.

Lawmakers voted 92 to 0 in support of the bill. It would establish the Kentucky Coal County College Completion Program, which would promote bachelor’s degree attainment for students in Eastern and Western Kentucky.

The plan will use about $4 million in coal-severance funds set aside in Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget.

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Politics
6:56 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Gov. Steve Beshear's Tax Plan Fails to Address Inequality, Economic Think Tank Says

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s tax reform plan fails to address issues of fairness in the state’s tax code, says a non-partisan economic think tank.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy doesn’t think the plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit will be enough to offset the new sales taxes for the less wealthy.

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Politics
6:20 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Kentucky Senate Republicans: No Sentiment for Expanded Gambling This Year

Credit Creative Commons

Expanded gambling may be dead for another year, according to Kentucky Senate Republicans.

A bill filed by Sen. Dan Seum, a Louisville Republican, would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot and let voters decide if they want casinos in the commonwealth.

But Seum says he doesn’t have the support in the Senate.

“At this point in time, I have no plans in putting it on the floor, obviously, until I have the necessary votes to pass a constitutional amendment," he says.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Bill Allowing Study of Cannabis Oil Proposed in Kentucky State Senate

Julie Denton
Credit Phillip Bailey/WFPL News

A bill that would permit Kentucky universities to study and develop treatments using cannabis oil has been filed in the state Senate.

Cannabidiol is an ingredient found in the marijuana plant. It has an extremely low THC content, which means it doesn’t get its users high, and a growing body of research shows it can significantly reduce seizures, even in children with epilepsy.

State Sen. Julie Denton says that the cannabidiol found in strains of cannabis oil can save lives.

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Politics
6:56 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Kentucky House OKs Minimum Wage Increase to $10.10; Bill Heads to Senate

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — When a bill as contentious as this comes through a legislative body two things can be expected: a party-line vote and fiery speeches.

After more than two-and-a-half hours of debate, the Kentucky House passed a bill Thursday afternoon that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

The issue drew impassioned speeches from supporting lawmakers.

The debate’s most incendiary comments came from state Rep. Jim Wayne, a Louisville Democrat.

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Politics
7:45 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Kentucky Senate OKs Bill Stripping Governor of Power to Implement Regulations

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would amend the state constitution and remove the governor's ability to implement regulations.

Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer says the legislature should be able to review regulations like the Affordable Care Act and Common Core school standards—both implemented by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear through regulatory means.

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Politics
6:40 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Statewide Smoking Ban Clears Kentucky State House Committee

Credit Shutterstock.com

FRANKFORT — A Kentucky House committee has approved a ban on indoor smoking in public places and private businesses across the state.

The House Health & Welfare Committee voted 10 to 3. It would provide an exemption for open spaces, and will also apply to e-cigarettes.

State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat and the bill's sponsor, says the ban is needed to improve the health of all Kentuckians regardless of if they smoke, and will affect a variety of workplaces.

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Politics
6:22 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Makes Tax Reform Proposal

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's tax reform plan would raise an additional $210 million in revenue each year.

In announcing his proposal Tuesday, Beshear said the plan would make Kentucky’s economy more competitive with neighboring states by taxing services, lowering income taxes, and reducing the top corporate income tax by a tenth of a percent.

Newly taxed services would include auto and computer repair, landscaping, janitorial services and security systems, as well as luxury services like tanning salons, golf courses and marinas.

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