Ryland Barton

Kentucky Public Radio State Capitol Reporter

Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues, Ryland's reporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. 

Ryland has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

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Starting this week, Kentucky’s six percent sales tax now applies to a new set of services like automotive repairs, pet grooming, dry cleaning, gym memberships and landscaping.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

After the announcement of the retirement of the U.S. Supreme Court’s swing-voting Justice Anthony Kennedy, Mitch McConnell told a gathering of Kentucky Republicans that this has been “the best” year-and-a-half for conservatives in recent history.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

This week in state politics, federal education officials came to Kentucky to talk about ways to make schools safer, and Gov. Matt Bevin said it all comes down to kids’ cell phone use. One of the Republican lawmakers who helped make changes to the state pension system says they’ll pass the bill again if it’s struck down by the courts. And the state’s new education commissioner talked about the potential costs of taking over Louisville’s school system.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

The head of Kentucky’s education department said that a state takeover of Louisville’s public school system would be “costly,” and that a hearing over the matter will likely take place in the late summer or early fall.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Matt Bevin says in order to put an end to school shootings, parents need to stop over-medicating their children and steer them away from cell phones and violent video games.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

After last week’s court decision that struck down Kentucky’s new pension law, a Republican state representative says he’s confident legislators will pass a new version of the measure if the decision is upheld.

Nicole Erwin / WKMS

Federal education officials will be in Lexington on Tuesday to hear recommendations about how to make schools safer.

BELCHONOCK, 123RF STOCK PHOTO

This week in Kentucky politics, a judge struck down Kentucky’s new pension law, saying legislators broke the law by rushing the bill to passage. 

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin says the judge who struck down Kentucky’s pension law is "not a very competent attorney," predicting that the ruling will be overturned because the legislation "doesn’t do much."

Alex Proimos / Flickr Wikimedia Commons (CC, BY-SA 2.0)

Kentucky’s top health official says the state will cut benefits to Medicaid recipients if a federal court strikes down changes to the program set to roll out on July 1.

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