Local News

The Kentucky House voted 91-8 Thursday to raise the state’s drop out age from 16 to 18 by July, 2016. Rep. Jeff Greer of Brandenburg, the bill’s primary sponsor, made a passionate plea for approval.

“Almost 75 percent of our prison population do not have a high school diploma. Think about that. Do you see the correlation? Do you see the need for us to emphasize to our kids across this commonwealth the importance of a high school diploma?” Greer said.

All eight of the bill’s opponents were Republicans. Rep. Jim Decesare of Rockfield, said, “How do you pay for it? It’s a local unfunded mandate that we’re passing down to our local school districts. And until we can come up with some kind of funding mechanism, I find it hard to support this legislation.”

Gov. Steve Beshear’s plan for balancing the state’s Medicaid budget has taken a giant step forward in the Kentucky General Assembly. The House voted 80-19 to move 166-million dollars from the second year of the Medicaid budget, to the current year, to cover a huge deficit. All 19 opponents, including Rep. Stan Lee of Lexington, were Republicans.

The bill now goes to the Senate.