State Sen. Damon Thayer

12:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Senate Considering Changes to Special Taxing District Reform Bill

Robert Stivers
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A bill aimed at reforming the way special districts are treated in Kentucky is likely to undergo some changes in hands of the state Senate.

House Bill 1 is a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, based off recommendations Edelen made during his investigation of special taxing districts across Kentucky.

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6:20 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

State Senate Passes Pension Reform Recommendations

Credit File photo

The Kentucky state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would reform the majority of the state's pension system, 33-5. 

Senate Bill 2 reflects the recommendations of the legislative task force assigned to study possible solutions to the problem over the summer.

Cost of living adjustments would be suspended under the bill. The bill would also create a hybrid plan similar to a 401K whose rate of return would be guaranteed by the state.

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3:13 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Pension Bill Passes Senate Committee, House Still Has Hang-ups

Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — An effort to reform Kentucky's underfunded pension systems passed in its first hearing Wednesday from a state Senate committee meeting.

Senate Bill 2 stems from the recommendations of a legislative task force that met over the summer to try and solve the pension problems.

It includes a suspension of cost of living adjustments and creates a new hybrid plan that acts like a 401K with a promised rate of return.

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10:00 am
Tue December 25, 2012

New Leadership in Senate Doesn't Equal Easier Road for Dropout Bill

Damon Thayer
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Three of the chief opponents to raising the dropout age in Kentucky will not return to Frankfort next year.

That doesn't mean a dropout bill is likely to pass in the 2013 legislative session.

State law allows 16-year-olds to drop out of school with parental permission. But education advocates want the law changed to eliminate all loopholes and require dropouts to be 18 or older.

With a new education chairman and new leadership in the Senate, those advocates are hopeful this will be their year.

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7:00 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Kentucky Legislative Leaders: Pensions Will Be Top Issue in 2013

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Figuring out how to finance a plan to shore up Kentucky public employees' pensions will be the General Assembly's greatest task in 2013, two legislative leaders said.

A legislative task force has suggested several ways to brace  state employee pensions, but passing legislation and paying for it will be difficult. Lawmakers' proposals include relying on existing economic growth and raising taxes on Kentuckians with higher earnings.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he hasn't settled on a solution.

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5:35 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Kentucky Lawmakers Optimistic Gambling Bill Will Pass

After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. 

At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session. Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month. 

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6:13 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

GOP Nominates Stivers as Senate President

The State Senate Republican Caucus has officially nominated Sen. Robert Stivers for Senate president.

Stivers’ new role won’t be official until it’s voted on by the full chamber in early January. But the GOP holds a 24-14 advantage, meaning Stivers is all but certain to succeed former Senate President David Williams. Williams left the Senate to take a position as a circuit judge.

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4:21 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

What to do About Kentucky's Struggling Pension Systems? Task Force Makes Recommendations

Mike Cherry

Kentucky's state pension plans have problems, and a bipartisan legislative task force has approved sweeping recommendations to overhaul them -- including putting new employees in a hybrid plans akin to 401Ks.

The task force -- with an 11-1 vote -- is recommending that the General Assembly start fully funding their pension contributions starting with the next budget in 2014. Lawmakers’ inability to do that is part of the pension plans problems. 

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8:35 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Louisville Write-In Presidential Candidate Files Birther Lawsuit

A Louisville doctor running for president as a write-in candidate is aligning with the so-called "birther" movement in a lawsuit questioning President Obama's citizenship.

Anesthesiologist Todd House is running on a ticket with his wife, and according to The Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth, he filed a suit on August 10 alleging Mr. Obama is not a "natural born" citizen and is therefore unqualified to run for president.

From The C-J:

About 20 similar cases have been filed across the country. All of the cases that have come to a conclusion have been rejected by judges — both in federal and state courts — and most have failed on technical reasons. Courts have rejected several of the cases, ruling that those who filed the suits didn’t have “standing” to bring them.

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