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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Health
11:11 am
Wed February 29, 2012

State Auditor has Recommendations for MCO's

kentucky.com

State Auditor Adam Edelen has released ten recommendations for a more efficient Medicaid Managed Care system in Kentucky.

For weeks, the MCOs, lawmakers, health care providers and patients have tussled over the new system, which was implemented quickly to plug a budget gap.

MCOs have promised lawmakers that the majority of problems are fixed, but some areas like pharmacy and mental health, are still having issues.

Rather than directly auditing the managed care organizations, Edelen instead looked into how the system was using taxpayer’s funds.

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House Approves Amish Bill
3:38 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Amish Buggie Bill Clears House

Wikimedia

Proposals to allow the Amish to use reflective tape on their buggies instead of state-mandated orange triangles have passed both Kentucky legislative chambers.

The House voted today in favor of a bill that requires the Amish to put 200 inches of red tape on their buggies. The bill passed overwhelmingly, 90-9, despite objections from lawmakers in areas where the bill would matter the most. Among the no votes was Representative Martha Jane King of Logan County.  She's heard concerns that the tape isn't as easily seen or as safe as the orange triangle that's used currently.

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Synthetic Drug Laws
3:13 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Kentucky Lawmakers Renew Efforts Against Synthetic Drugs

Kentucky lawmakers are doubling down on efforts to fight synthetic drugs.

Synthetic drugs are chemically-altered substances meant to simulate other drugs. House Bill 481 would drastically increase penalties for crimes related to synthetic drugs. The measure is the General Assembly’s latest attempt to catch up with increasingly-popular methods of getting high.

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Gambling Debate
3:08 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Governor Beshear Won't Back Down from Gambling Debate

Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week.

Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling his main priority. This year, he attempted to pass a constitutional amendment dealing with the issue through the state Senate. The bill fell seven votes short of passage in a vote that critics say should be the end of the issue. But Beshear says the vote gave more resolve to the business leaders and horse racing interests who back the idea.

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Healthcare
3:06 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Kentucky Healthcare Groups form Cancer Fighting Partnership

Several healthcare groups have come together in a public-private partnership to fight cancer in Kentucky.

The newly-formed Kentucky Cancer Foundation is part of a two-million-dollar initiative to help uninsured Kentuckians get cancer screenings.

In his proposed two year budget, Governor Steve Beshear earmarked half a million dollars each year for colon cancer screenings. He also proposed raising another million from a public-private partnership.

At a news conference to announce the partnership, Beshear conceded that two million dollars won’t go very far.

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2012 General Assembly
8:35 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Bill to Allow Students to Attend School Outside of Home District

A new bill in Kentucky would allow students to go to school outside of the district they live in, as long the new district allows it.

State Senator Ken Winters is sponsoring the bill because of concerns he's heard from parents in his district. He says the measure isn’t aimed at getting students out of low-performing schools, but is instead tailored to parents who commute outside their home county.

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Kentucky Legislature
8:30 am
Mon February 27, 2012

What's Next for Kentucky Lawmakers

Although two major issues have been nearly resolved, Kentucky lawmakers still have a full agenda this session.

Redistricting and expanded gambling dominated the first half of the session. The gambling bill was defeated last week and redistricting was settled by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

But that doesn’t mean the legislative work is over. Lawmakers still have a two-year budget to pass. Senate President David Williams says that's just one of several pressing issues.

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2012 General Assembly
4:20 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Capitol Bureau Update from Kenny Colston

It’s been a busy week in the Kentucky General Assembly.  An effort to legalize casino gambling died on the Senate floor, the sponsor of a measure to regulate the sale of products containing meth precursor pseudoephedrine withdrew it from consideration, and debate continues over the Commonwealth’s dropout age.  Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston speaks wi

State Redistricting Debate
1:54 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Legislative Maps Unconstitutional

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the latest maps of state legislative districts are unconstitutional.

Lawmakers approved new lines for state House and Senate districts earlier this year. But a circuit court judge declared them unconstitutional, citing a precedent that districts can't be more than five percent larger or smaller than their ideal size. Lawyers for the Legislative Research Commission promptly appealed the ruling on behalf of House and Senate leadership.

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Government
7:57 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Stivers Withdraws Pseudoephedrine Bill

A Senate bill that would have made pseudoephedrine available by prescription only has surprisingly been killed by its sponsor.

State Senator Robert Stivers withdrew Senate Bill 50 Thursday, to the objection of several of his colleagues.

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