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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Politics
5:24 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Time Running Out for Kentucky General Assembly to Pass Priority Bills

Credit wikimedia.com

As the 2013 legislative session winds down, the top priorities for each chamber are still stuck in the process and not yet law.

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Politics
11:09 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Kentucky Pension Bills in 'Legislative Purgatory' As Both Chambers Argue Over Procedure

Credit LRC Public Information

FRANKFORT — Arguments over how to reform and pay for Kentucky's underfunded pension systems have devolved into legislative chaos.

Both the Kentucky House and the Senate are refusing bills addressing pensions, citing legal or procedural reasons. And leading legislators are blaming each other.

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2013 KY General Assembly
8:05 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Pension Fixes in Limbo As Leaders Argue Over Approaches

A House bill aiming to help generate revenues for the underfunded pension system is in legal limbo as the Senate refused to accept the bill.

House Bill 416 takes revenues from expansion of Instant Racing and online lottery sales and the start of a Keno game to generate close to $100 million a year to pay into state's currently underfunded pensions for state employees.

Revenue bills in odd-year sessions must have 60 House votes in final passage to be considered within the rules; House Bill 416 only received 52 on the floor. Because of that, the Senate clerk refused to accept the bill.

But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the Senate should amend the bill and send it back to the House for final passage if it wants to avoid a special session.

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2013 KY General Assembly
11:14 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Senate Committee Advances Fix to 2012 Pill Mill Legislation

A bill addressing issues with 2012's pill mill bill has cleared a state Senate committee, less than a day after it cleared the full House. The bill calls off some regulations of the 2012 House Bill 1, which cracked down on prescription pain clinics and abuse.

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2013 KY General Assembly
7:52 am
Thu February 28, 2013

House Passes Medicaid Prompt Pay Bill 99-0

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A bill moving Medicaid managed care late payments to the Department of Insurance's review process has overwhelmingly passed the state House. The measure passed on a unanimous vote of 99-0.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the bill sponsor and says his goal is to make sure health care providers start getting paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, which has been a problem since the MCO system was implemented.

"Because if claims are in fact being withheld unfairly, this will remedy that," Stumbo said. "If claims are being changed as far as the criteria goes in the claims process after they've been submitted this will change that."

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2013 KY General Assembly
5:50 am
Thu February 28, 2013

House Passes Two Pension Bills But Controversy Over Vote Looms

The House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.

The House passed an amended  version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.

It also passed House Bill 416, which takes revenues from the potential expansion and legalization of Instant Racing, from online lottery sales and a new Keno game.

That bill passed with 52 votes, but many Republican members argued that the action was illegal, since revenue bills take a House supermajority of 60 votes to pass in odd-year session.

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2013 KY General Assembly
3:14 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Auditor Adam Edelen to State Senators: Don't Amend Special Taxing Districts Bill

Credit kentucky.com

State Auditor Adam Edelen is encouraging Senate lawmakers not to tweak the special district taxing district reform bill, which is largely based on his proposals from a report last year.

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2013 KY General Assembly
5:50 am
Wed February 27, 2013

House Committee Passes Revenue Bill for Pensions

The House budget committee has passed a bill that would help shore up the state's underfunded pension system. House Bill 416 would take revenues from expanding Kentucky lottery sales and online games, as well as from Instant Racing if the state Supreme Court upholds the legality of the game.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the bill would generate at least $100 million a year to be put into a trust fund for pensions.  And he says using money from lottery sales won't hurt scholarship funds tied to lottery profits.

"Those are left harmless, they'll still be funded. And they'll be allowed 2 percent growth in this proposal so they'll still continue to grow," Stumbo said.

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2013 Kentucky General Assembly
3:39 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

House Committees Makes Major Changes to Pension Reform Bill

Credit Photo by Bud Craft, courtesy Ky Legislative Research Commission.

The state pension system would not transition to a hybrid 401K-style plan in an amended version of the pension reform bill.

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2013 KY General Assembly
11:24 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Persistently Low-Achieving Schools Could Become Charter Schools Under Kentucky Senate Bill

Kentucky persistently low-achieving schools would be able to become charter schools to improve performance and test scores under a bill discussed Tuesday in the state Senate Education Committee.

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