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.

Ryland Barton

About 100 protesters from an anti-poverty group crowded the entryway to the Kentucky Capitol Monday after state officials restricted the group’s access to the building.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

This week in Kentucky politics: the lawsuit over the new pension law was argued in court; Kentucky’s new commissioner of education laid out his priorities, which include helping charter schools open up and taking over Louisville’s public school system; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued to express concern about President Trump’s tariffs leading to a full-blown trade war.

Listen to this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled in the player above.

Ryland Barton

During a hearing on Thursday, the judge presiding over the lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law questioned why state lawmakers were able to pass the measure out of the legislature in just one day.

Kentucky Department Of Education Website

  The new leader of the Kentucky Department of Education laid out his priorities on Wednesday, including the creation of charter schools, improving student achievement and taking over Louisville’s public school system.

Cabinet For Health and Family Services/Screenshot, via WFPL

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s partnering with a former Democratic congressman to help people navigate the state’s new Medicaid rules. We found out that lobbyists set a new spending record at the state legislature as lawmakers made changes to the tax code. Plus, a state-funded aluminum mill broke ground in northeastern Kentucky and  Bevin asked for a judge to recuse himself from the lawsuit over the new pension bill.

Ashlie Stevens, via WFPL

Kentucky distillers, wineries and liquor retailers can now ship wine and spirits across state lines after the legislature passed the “bourbon without borders” bill earlier this year.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky Republicans aren’t all on the same page when it comes to a potential state takeover of Louisville’s public school system.

WFPL News

The field is set for this year’s political races in Kentucky. Teachers are hopeful that a good showing during statehouse primary elections will lead to more success in the fall. And all eyes will be on Kentucky this year to watch the congressional race between retired fighter pilot Amy McGrath and incumbent Congressman Andy Barr.

Teachers in Kentucky flexed their newfound political clout in primary elections Tuesday after a series of massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

High school math teacher Travis Brenda ousted one of the Kentucky legislature's top Republican leaders in a primary election. Brenda ran a campaign attacking state Rep. Jonathan Shell for his role in writing bills that weakened retirement benefits for state workers and overhauled Kentucky's tax code.

Alexey Stiop, 123rf stock photo

A high school teacher has defeated Kentucky’s House majority leader in a Republican primary election, signaling the newfound voting power of teachers after lawmakers made changes to state worker pension benefits this year.

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