Kenny Colston (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.

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2012 General Assembly
4:27 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Governor's Preschool Funding Proposal Gets Cut

An effort by Governor Steve Beshear to expand preschool services in the commonwealth did not make it into the final state budget.

Beshear put a $15 million appropriation for preschool in his budget proposal. The House cut that figure in half and funded other education programs with what was left. The Senate struck all the money, saying it wouldn't be right to expand some programs while slashing others. And after days of budget talks, the Senate won the argument.

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Education
2:36 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Budget Compromise Changes Appalachia​n Scholarshi​ps

A scholarship program intended to serve college students in far eastern Kentucky has been expanded. What was originally called the Appalachian Scholarship Fund has been expanded to all coal-producing counties in Kentucky, including those in the western portion of the state. The program applies to students in the last two years of their education who attend a university, public or private, in a coal-producing county. The intent was to keep eastern Kentucky students from leaving the area for college.

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2012 General Assembly
6:59 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Lawmakers Pass Budget with No Time to Spare

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After a night of discussions, Kentucky lawmakers have finally reached a budget agreement.

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2012 General Assembly
6:53 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Drug Bills Near Passage

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State lawmakers have approved two major pieces of legislation dealing with drug abuse in Kentucky.

House Bill 4 tightens regulations on prescription pills. It passed the full Senate Wednesday afternoon. Around the same time, the House passed Senate Bill 3, which caps the amount of pseudoephedrine Kentuckians can buy every month without a prescription. Since both bills were amended, they will now return to their original chambers, where lawmakers must decide whether to agree with the changes or send them to conference committees for compromises.

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2012 General Assembly
4:04 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Kentucky Budget Talks have Stalled

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Budget talks in Frankfort appear to have stalled.

Lawmakers have met for three straight days, usually twice a day, to resolve differences between budget proposals passed by the House and Senate. But there are firm disagreements over school construction, cuts to the governor'’s office and coal severance projects.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the Senate isn'’t compromising on those issues, so the potential to deliver a budget on time is in danger.

2012 General Assembly
2:01 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Committee Passes Prescription Drug Bill

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A Kentucky Senate committee has approved a bill that aims to toughen laws against prescription pill abuse.

House Bill 4 is a collaborative effort between House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Attorney General Jack Conway and Governor Steve Beshear.

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2012 General Assembly
12:48 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Kentucky lawmakers continue to work on a budget compromise

Both chambers of the General Assembly have approved budget bills and a conference committee has been meeting since Monday to work out the differences. One major point of disagreement is funding for school construction. It's a priority for the House. But Senators were not ready to haggle during a Tuesday morning session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the issue is so important to his chamber that a disagreement could derail budget talks.

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Education
3:20 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Charter School Add-On Kills Two Education Reform Issues

An attempt to piggyback charter school legislation on another bill has likely killed two plans for education reform in Kentucky.

The state Senate Education committee today added language legalizing charter schools to a charter alternative plan sponsored by Representative Carl Rollins, who chairs the House Education Committee. Charter supporters hoped Rollins would allow the amendment in order to see his alternative become law, but it's unlikely the plan will work.

"The charter school part of the bill has no chance and I'm pretty sure the whole bill is dead," says Rollins.

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Kentucky General Assembly 2012
2:11 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

House Tries Second Dropout Bill Compromise

Kentucky lawmakers are trying again to raise the state's dropout age.

Currently, students can drop out of school at 16 years old with parents' permission. But lawmakers and Governor Steve Beshear have pushed to raise the dropout age to 18, regardless of parental consent.

The latest proposal before the legislature would let local school boards decide  whether to adopt the higher dropout age. But once 70 districts opt in, it will become mandatory statewide.

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2012 General Assembly
7:40 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Lawmakers Head into Final Legislative Week

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The last full week of this year's legislative session in Kentucky began yesterday with negotiations over the state budget. House and Senate leaders started talks yesterday morning, breaking only for committee and floor duties, and continued negotiations well into the night. Both chambers have approved slightly different versions of the state budget for the next two years. Lawmakers are now reviewing those differences line by line, looking for potential compromises. The General Assembly has until late Wednesday to hatch a compromise.

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