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.

jan zeschky / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

A bill banning out-of-state brewers from owning distributors in Kentucky has won approval in the General Assembly and awaits final word from Gov. Steve Beshear, who has indicated his support.

Wikimedia Commons

Major telephone companies won’t have to offer basic landline service to residents in the 15 largest markets in the state if Gov. Steve Beshear signs a bill that passed the state Senate on Monday.

The so-called AT&T deregulation bill removes a requirement that “carriers of last resort” offer packages with 911 calling, operator service and unlimited local calls to those who ask for it in markets of more than 15,000 people.

lrc.state.ky.us

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spent the most cash lobbying in the General Assembly in the month of January.

According to the Legislative Ethics Commission groups spent nearly $1.8 million that month.

http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/pubinfo/photo.htm

The Kentucky House unanimously passed two bills to combat sex trafficking and child pornography in the state.

One bill would prevent those charged with having sex with a child prostitute from claiming they thought the child was over 18. Democratic Representative Sannie Overly says the bill goes along with legislation working its way through the U.S. Congress that amends federal trafficking statutes in the same way.

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/

The state House on Friday passed a bill that would create a personnel policy for the troubled Legislative Research Commission, the state agency that provides staffers and research for legislators.

By Daderot (Daderot) [CC0 or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

  A committee has nominated three candidates to replace former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott, who resigned in January to enter the Republican race for governor.

Scott was elected to his seat on the state’s highest court in 2004, representing the 7thSupreme Court District covering much Eastern Kentucky.

The nominees announced Thursday are all Eastern Kentucky attorneys—David Allen Barber from Prestonsburg, Roger Donald Riggs from Mount Sterling and Janet Stumbo from Van Lear.

Eric Molina, Wikimedia Commons

The state’s drug courts might allow addicts to receive medically assisted drug therapy as part of court mandated treatment.

The move comes after White House drug czar Michael Botticelli said in February that drug courts that prohibit medical treatment would stop receiving federal funding.

LRC Public Information

The state Senate’s first public discussion of the House’s heroin bill on Wednesday highlighted the differences between the two chambers as they seek to address a surge in addiction throughout Kentucky.

The House bill focuses on treatment and enforcement that distinguishes between peddlers, mid-level traffickers and aggravated traffickers.

jan zeschky / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Kentucky brewers have won another fight in the Frankfort beer battle: the state House voted on Tuesday to change a law that allows out-of-state brewers to own their own distributors.

The law presently allows Anheuser-Busch to own distributors in Owensboro and Louisville, which has been opposed by in-state micro-breweries.

LRC Public Information

The Kentucky House passed a bill Tuesday evening that would free telephone companies of the requirement to offer basic phone service to many of Kentucky’s densely populated areas.

Since 2006, major telephone providers like AT&T have been required by the state’s Public Service Commission to offer basic service like unlimited local calling, operator assistance and 9-1-1. Now, carriers are asking to be freed of that regulation so they can invest in their wireless networks.

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