Additional safeguards in child custody cases are now part of a bill that cracks down on human trafficking. Some lawmakers want to create “drop-off” sites at county courthouses, so estranged parents can safely shift custody of their children. Lexington Representative Kelly Flood persuaded fellow lawmakers a human trafficking bill should also be part of the legislation.
An effort to standardize teacher evaluation across all public schools in Kentucky is being undertaken at the state capital. House Education Committee Chair Carl Rollins says there are 174 different school districts and 174 different teacher evaluation strategies.
The office of constable, which is established by Kentucky’s state constitution, is again under scrutiny. Earlier attempts to eliminate the office have failed. However, critics this year are taking a different approach.
Proposed changes in state law are designed to keep more Physician Assistants in Kentucky. It allows for more leniency in their supervision.
Newly graduated Physician Assistants must currently work under the direct supervision of a medical doctor for a year and a half. So, they can only work when “the Doctor is in.” As a result, Virginia Valentin with the Kentucky Physician Assistant Association says about half of P-A grads leave the commonwealth.
“Right now the law is for the first 18 months, P-A’s have to work under direct supervision of a physician, meaning the physician can’t take Friday afternoon off. If they take Friday afternoon off, then the physician assistant can’t work. This is the only state that does that,” Valentin said.
A state resolution asking Congress to consider limits on campaign contributions is moving in Kentucky’s house. By the slimmest of margins, the measure passed out of committee Tuesday. It urges Congress to amend the Constitution so reasonable limits can be set. Sponsor Mary Lou Marzian believes such limits could reduce negative political advertising.
The industrial hemp debate will resume in Frankfort later this morning. A bill seeking a pilot project for hemp in Kentucky will be discussed in a Senate committee. Carrying the ball for putting hemp in farmer’s fields is Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
“We find new uses every day for industrial hemp," he says. "It’s a green crop. It’s something that is replacing plastic in the automotive industry. You can make paper with industrial hemp, textiles, cosmetics and lotions, bio fuels.”
It’s been more than 200 years since a major earthquake rocked portions of the Midwest including western Kentucky. David Davis, with Kentucky Emergency Management, says there were actually a series of quakes in 1811 and 1812.
A national anti-poverty organization ranks Kentucky 34th nationally in the ability of its citizens to achieve financial security. The report was compiled by the Corporation for Enterprise Development. Casey Wiedrich is senior program manager for applied research for CFED.
“You know less than 60 percent of households in Kentucky have a savings account," she says.
For the first time since its inception, over a half million people last year traveled the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The new attendance record represents a 15 percent increase over 20-11. Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experience Director Adam Johnson says there were visitors from all 50 states and over 50 countries.