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
7:52 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Gambling Amendment Dies in Senate

Governor Steve Beshear’s expanded gambling amendment has failed in the state Senate.

The measure would have allowed for a public vote on whether to legalize casinos in the state. It fell seven votes short of the 23 it needed to move to the House. The shortfall was due largely to fractures in the Democratic caucus.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Senator Damon Thayer, says he’s finished with the issue after nine years of working on it.

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Election 2012
4:27 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Paul on Vice Presidential Possibilities

Kentucky's junior senator says it would be an honor to be considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Senator Rand Paul first discussed his higher aspirations at the beginning of this year. He said he wouldn't close the door on being a Vice Presidential candidate. After a speech in Louisville today, Paul held that door firmly open, saying he wants to be part of the national debate.

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State Debt
4:23 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Lawmakers Promote Bill Capping State Debt

Kentucky lawmakers are once again ready to approve a bill capping the state's debt at six percent of revenues.

The issue has been in and out of committee multiple times this session. It started as a constitutional amendment, then changed to a regular bill. And state Senators have renamed the measure to show their commitment to it. It is now called Senate Bill 1.

Currently, Kentucky is just over the six percent debt-to-revenue ratio, and bill sponsor Joe Bowen says the bill is a safeguard.

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Expanded Gambling
3:04 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Gambling Amendment Passes Senate Committee

Governor Steve Beshear's constitutional amendment to legalize casinos in Kentucky has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The bill passed the Senate's State and Local Government committee 7-4 today.

The measure would allow up to seven casinos in Kentucky. But the committee changed the bill, dropping language that requires five of the casinos to be at horse racing tracks. The measure still requires a 60-mile buffer zone between tracks and independent casinos.

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Special Education
2:17 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Senate Bill Proposes "Alternative Diploma" for Special Needs Students

wikipedia commons

A bill creating an alternative diploma for special needs students is one vote away from becoming law.

Senate Bill 43 would apply different core standards to qualified students who would then earn the alternative diploma. Currently, special needs students in Kentucky receive only a certificate when they graduate.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Dennis Parrett, says he’s only trying to fix what he views as a problem.

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2012 General Assembly
6:51 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Amish Buggy Bill Could Soon Be Law

amishamerica.com

A bill allowing Amish buggy drivers in Kentucky to use reflective tape instead of a state-mandated orange triangle is only a few steps away from becoming law.

The state Senate passed a bill addressing the issue weeks ago. And a House committee passed its own version last week.

There are a few differences in each chamber’s bill. The House wants 200 inches of white, two-inch-wide tape on the back of each buggy. The Senate version mandates 100 inches of red or white one-inch-wide tape.

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2012 General Assembly
3:15 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

House Speaker Pushes Fraud Bill

wikipedia.com

A bill that would allow Kentucky to collect money from Medicaid fraud busts has again been introduced in Frankfort.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed the bill, which would also protect and possibly reward whistle blowers who report fraud in Medicaid or any other areas of state government.

Stumbo says the bill is needed to help Kentucky get money that usually ends up in federal coffers.

It s a choice of revenues, state or federal, the states that don t have a state law don t have the option to get any of that forfeiture money or penalty money, Stumbo says.

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Government
3:55 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

KPR's Kenny Colston on Kentucky General Assembly Issues

Wikipedia

Kentucky’s General Assembly session continues in Frankfort, where lawmakers continued talks on regulating pseudoephedrine, raising the high school dropout age and Medicare’s Managed Care Organizations. Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston speaks with Rick Howlett about latest developments in Kentucky’s State Capitol this week.

Government
2:30 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Initial Arguments Made in Redistricting Appeal

Kentucky lawmakers who successfully sued to keep new district maps from taking effect have filed new motions with the state Supreme Court.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled two weeks ago that the maps of new House and Senate districts were unconstitutional because they weren't in line with population variance numbers previously set by the Supreme Court. The Legislative Research Commission promptly appealed the case.

The LRC argues that the five percent variance per district rule is invalid because it isn't based on constitutional law.

Constables
1:19 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Change in Constable Bill Could Free Up its Path to Passage

A Senate bill that would give county governments more control over constables could have enough support to become law.

Originally, both chambers pursued constitutional amendments to eliminate the office of constable altogether, spurred by several recent instances of constables abusing their power.

But an agreement not to crowd the fall ballot with constitutional amendments led to the Senate proposal.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Larry Clark says now that the bill’s scope has changed, it has a good chance of making it through the House.

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