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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Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for state higher education officials to eliminate some college degree programs if they don’t graduate students who can go into high-demand jobs. In a speech earlier this week, he specifically called out students majoring in “interpretive dance,” a program that isn’t technically offered in Kentucky. Despite this rhetoric, many still believe there’s room for fine arts and liberal arts majors in Kentucky’s state universities.

Ashley Lopez, via WFPL

Lawyers for Kentucky’s only abortion clinic and Planned Parenthood on Thursday grilled a state official during the second day of a licensing battle taking place in federal court.

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Lawyers representing Kentucky’s only abortion provider squared off against Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team in federal court on Wednesday. The battle will determine if the state becomes the first in the nation without an abortion provider.

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Tuesday’s announcement from the Trump administration officially ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — means nearly 6,000 Kentuckians brought to America as undocumented children would be eligible for deportation.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week plans to lift the ban on giving certain types of military equipment to local governments. But the policy change is unlikely to have major consequences in Kentucky and other states.

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More state workers retired last month than the year before amid concerns that the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin will make changes to state retirement plans. Bevin plans to call a special session later this year.

Ryland Barton, via Twitter

African-American leaders called on Gov. Matt Bevin to remove a white marble statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol building on Wednesday.

Facebook/Screenshot via WFPL

A Kentucky middle school teacher says Gov. Matt Bevin delivered a “low blow” when he publicly scolded her in a Facebook Live video Monday night.

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A consulting firm hired by the state has recommended weakening pension benefits for current and retired state workers as a way to steer Kentucky’s retirement systems away from insolvency.

Ryland Barton

Justices on Kentucky’s Supreme Court heard arguments over whether Gov. Matt Bevin had the right to overhaul the University of Louisville board of trustees last year under a law that gives the governor power to reshape state boards while the legislature isn’t in session.

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