Government

2012 General Assembly
8:26 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Special Election Bill Headed to Gov. Beshear's Desk

ky.gov

Lawmakers in both chambers have passed a bill aimed at reducing the cost of uncontested special legislative elections. Kentucky House lawmakers passed the measure weeks ago, while it passed the Senate today. The bill was proposed by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to help cut costs to her office and county clerks. State Senator Damon Thayer says the bill will cut back on the multiple voting locations which are currently required by law when there’s only one election and one candidate on the ballot. The bill won’t affect elections where multiple candidates are running.

Read more
2012 General Assembly
8:23 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Lawmakers Consider Adult Abuse Registry

wikipedia.com

The Kentucky House of Representatives has endorsed the creation of an adult abuse registry.
The bill that would create that registry has been a priority of lawmakers for years, but funding hasn’t been there. But this year, Governor Steve Beshear allocated funds for the registry in the budget. Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo is the bill’s sponsor, and has supported the idea for the past several years. The measure would list anyone convicted of elder abuse on the new registry, which Palumbo says is key.

Read more
Government
3:22 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Sen Paul Opposes Alternative Energy Loan Program

paul.senate.gov

US Senator Rand Paul says the federal energy department should stop its loan guarantee program for companies developing alternative energy products. The Kentucky Republican told Energy Secretary Steven Chu Tuesday some of the loans have gone to wealthy friends of President Obama and that raises questions about the whole program.

Read more
Government
2:56 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Report Urges Policymakers to Consider Long-Term Sustainability of Coal Severance Fund

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would designate some coal severance tax money to scholarships for coalfields residents; the measure has already passed the House. But a report by a non-profit group warns that Kentucky needs to think about the long-term future of the state’s coal severance fund. Coal producers pay a tax of four and a half percent value of coal that’s sold into the state’s coal severance fund. Half of that money goes to Kentucky’s general fund, and the other half goes to various programs in coal-producing counties.

Read more
2012 General Assembly
2:50 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Senate Committee Passes Redistricting Bill

wikipedia.com

A Kentucky Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that calls for a constitutional amendment to allow lawmakers to divide more counties during redistricting. Bill sponsor Robert Stivers says limits on that complicated the redistricting process this year. Federal law requires that districts be nearly equal in population. But legislators say it's hard to meet that requirement as well as a state requirement to divide as few counties as possible. If approved, the bill would apply to redistricting following the 2020 Census.

2012 General Assembly
2:46 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Senate Committee Passes Foster Care Bill

wikipedia.com

The Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee has unanimously approved a bill to help 18-year-olds transition from foster care to independent living. Senator Ken Winters of Murray sponsored the bill. He says it would allow youths to consult with state personnel six months before they turn 18 about whether they want to remain in foster care.

Smoking Ban Clears Health Committe
3:39 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Statewide Smoking Ban Bill Passes Committee

A proposal for a Kentucky statewide smoking ban has cleared its first hurdle. The House Health and Welfare committee passed the bill today.

The bill was expected to pass easily, but a few Republicans did vote against the measure because of concern for individual property rights.

Lexington doctor Sylvia Cerel-Suhl supports the ban. She says it's her right to go out in public and not be subjected to second-hand smoke.

Read more
Government
2:45 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Nixon Opposes Blind Healthcare Cuts

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is opposing budget cuts to a health care program for the blind. The House budget committee proposed to cut the state’s current 28 million dollar program and replace it with a new 6 million dollar program. The proposed cuts are expected to go in front of the entire House next week. Nixon is urging representatives to support the current program which covers healthcare costs like prescriptions and doctor visits and serves over 2,000 blind Missourians.

Government
1:59 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Bill Allows Reflective Tape for Amish Vehicles

A bill that would allow slow-moving vehicles to use reflective tape instead of an orange triangle is moving through the House. The triangles have become an issue in Kentucky’s Amish community, where the symbol and loud color run counter to religious beliefs. Some Amish men have been arrested for refusing to use the triangles on their buggies. Both the House and the Senate passed separate bills addressing the issue. But the Senate proposal has fewer requirements, and the House decided to take up the Senate’s version.

Read more
Government
1:19 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

House Committee Passes Unemployment Insurance Fix

A compromise to help employers avoid high federal unemployment insurance taxes has easily cleared a House committee.

The proposal would allow Kentucky to borrow money from a bank or other organization to repay federal loans. Kentucky borrowed nearly one billion dollars from the federal government to pay for unemployment insurance during the recession.

Up until now, the state had no plan on how to keep up with interest payments on that loan. If the state is late on payments, the federal government can put a higher tax on employers to recoup the funds.

Read more

Pages