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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Government
1:59 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Bill Allows Reflective Tape for Amish Vehicles

A bill that would allow slow-moving vehicles to use reflective tape instead of an orange triangle is moving through the House. The triangles have become an issue in Kentucky’s Amish community, where the symbol and loud color run counter to religious beliefs. Some Amish men have been arrested for refusing to use the triangles on their buggies. Both the House and the Senate passed separate bills addressing the issue. But the Senate proposal has fewer requirements, and the House decided to take up the Senate’s version.

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Government
1:19 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

House Committee Passes Unemployment Insurance Fix

A compromise to help employers avoid high federal unemployment insurance taxes has easily cleared a House committee.

The proposal would allow Kentucky to borrow money from a bank or other organization to repay federal loans. Kentucky borrowed nearly one billion dollars from the federal government to pay for unemployment insurance during the recession.

Up until now, the state had no plan on how to keep up with interest payments on that loan. If the state is late on payments, the federal government can put a higher tax on employers to recoup the funds.

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Stumbo on KY Redistricting
8:29 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Kentucky Redistricting Bill Introduced

A change in the way Kentucky lawmakers draw district lines is likely to end up in front of voters this fall.  Senate Bill 18 gives legislators more direction in how to split counties during redistricting and requires them to follow federal law.  It would throw decades of past state precedent out the window.  The bill is partly a response to this year’s redistricting lawsuit, in which the state Supreme Court threw out new maps.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he supports the change and says it will likely pass both chambers this session.  If voters pass the constitutional amendment, the new

Kentucky General Assembly: Week of March 5
4:16 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Colston on the Capitol

Wikimedia Commons

It’s been another busy week in the Kentucky General Assembly. On the agenda: the budget, drug testing and prescription painkillers. To summarize what happened and why,  Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston talks politics with Rick Howlett.

 

 

Felon Voting Rally
2:52 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Felons' Voting Rights Supporters Rally

Supporters of legislation to restore voting rights to felons say the offenders have paid their debt to society and should have full suffrage granted automatically.

House Bill 70 is a constitutional amendment that would allow for that restoration, which is currently banned.

The House has already advanced the measure, but like in years past, the bill seems dead on arrival in the state Senate.

That didn't stop members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and other groups to rally loudly for an hour in the Capitol Rotunda in support of their bill Thursday.

Senate Leader Pushes Attorney General Bill
2:47 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Bill Would Change Attorney General to Nonpartisan Office

One of the leaders of the Senate is hoping to change how Kentucky's Attorney General is elected. Republican State Senator Katie Stine's bill would make the office of Attorney General nonpartisan.

Stine says because the Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer, the change should be a no-brainer.

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BIll to Affect Redistricting
2:28 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Senate Bill Would Amend Constitutional Provisions on Redistricting

A move to amend the provisions of Kentucky's constitution that deal with redistricting has been introduced in the state Senate.

State Senator Robert Stivers's bill would change the laws around redistricting, and give more direction for how medium-sized counties could be split.

Right now, the constitution says that any county that can be made one whole district cannot be split. But Stivers's language would allow some counties that can't be split under that rule to now be open to divisions.

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GOP Boycotts Meeting Over Lack of Vote
2:14 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Welfare Drug-Testing Bill Brings Boycotts

A bill that would allow random drug testing of welfare recipients was the subject of legislative boycotts and hearings today.

House Bill 26 is sponsored by Republican representative Lonnie Napier, who says the bill does not unfairly target anyone and would help rid drug abuse from those who benefit from government programs.

The bill was never expected to come for a vote in committee, leading Napier’s fellow Republicans on the panel to boycott the meeting.

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2012 General Assembly
11:54 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Budget Bills Pass House Committee

Budget plans for all three branches of Kentucky’s government are on their way to the House floor after easily passing out of the House budget committee today.

The committee passed bills that would cut the judicial and legislative budgets by eight point four percent, to match the cuts already made to the executive budget.  It also adopted the changes to Governor Steve Beshear’s budget proposed yesterday.

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2012 General Assembly
11:31 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Pseudoephedrine Bill Could Make it Out of House Intact

A proposal that limits the amount of pseudoephedrine consumers can buy in a month could make it out the state House of Representatives intact.

The Senate passed a bill last week that would limit consumers to seven point two grams of pseudoephedrine every month, or roughly two boxes of cold medicine.

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