Kentucky General Assembly

Politics
9:00 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Growing Number of Kentucky Women Running for State Legislature

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A growing number of women are vying for seats in the Kentucky General Assembly this year.

Of the 220 candidates running for either the state House or Senate in the 2014 election cycle, about 20 percent are women.

That’s a five-point increase compared to four years ago when the same offices were up for a vote.

Observers credit organizations aimed at recruiting and training women to run for public office.

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Politics
11:28 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Kentucky Senate Committee Passes Bill Requiring Mandatory Ultrasound for Abortions

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A Kentucky Senate committee has passed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory ultrasound procedure.

Senate Bill 8 is the latest anti-abortion measure to clear the panel.

Lawmakers heard testimony from Derrick Selznick, who is director of the ACLU of Kentucky’s Reproductive Freedom Project. Selznick opposes the bill on the grounds that it’s demeaning to women.

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Politics
9:33 am
Fri January 31, 2014

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

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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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