Government

Stumbo on KY Redistricting
8:29 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Kentucky Redistricting Bill Introduced

A change in the way Kentucky lawmakers draw district lines is likely to end up in front of voters this fall.  Senate Bill 18 gives legislators more direction in how to split counties during redistricting and requires them to follow federal law.  It would throw decades of past state precedent out the window.  The bill is partly a response to this year’s redistricting lawsuit, in which the state Supreme Court threw out new maps.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he supports the change and says it will likely pass both chambers this session.  If voters pass the constitutional amendment, the new

KY Senate Budget
8:15 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Senate Begins Budget Negotiations

Kentucky’s General Assembly session is winding down, but budget negotiations are just beginning for the state Senate.  The House passed their version of budgets for all three branches of state government last week. But Senate Budget Chairman Bob Leeper says that doesn’t mean his side will be able to act quickly on the plan.  Leeper says the Senate will compare three separate budgets: Governor Steve Beshear’s original proposal, the House’s changed plan and the last two-year budget.

Kentucky General Assembly: Week of March 5
4:16 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Colston on the Capitol

Wikimedia Commons

It’s been another busy week in the Kentucky General Assembly. On the agenda: the budget, drug testing and prescription painkillers. To summarize what happened and why,  Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston talks politics with Rick Howlett.

 

 

Felon Voting Rally
2:52 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Felons' Voting Rights Supporters Rally

Supporters of legislation to restore voting rights to felons say the offenders have paid their debt to society and should have full suffrage granted automatically.

House Bill 70 is a constitutional amendment that would allow for that restoration, which is currently banned.

The House has already advanced the measure, but like in years past, the bill seems dead on arrival in the state Senate.

That didn't stop members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and other groups to rally loudly for an hour in the Capitol Rotunda in support of their bill Thursday.

Senate Leader Pushes Attorney General Bill
2:47 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Bill Would Change Attorney General to Nonpartisan Office

One of the leaders of the Senate is hoping to change how Kentucky's Attorney General is elected. Republican State Senator Katie Stine's bill would make the office of Attorney General nonpartisan.

Stine says because the Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer, the change should be a no-brainer.

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BIll to Affect Redistricting
2:28 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Senate Bill Would Amend Constitutional Provisions on Redistricting

A move to amend the provisions of Kentucky's constitution that deal with redistricting has been introduced in the state Senate.

State Senator Robert Stivers's bill would change the laws around redistricting, and give more direction for how medium-sized counties could be split.

Right now, the constitution says that any county that can be made one whole district cannot be split. But Stivers's language would allow some counties that can't be split under that rule to now be open to divisions.

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GOP Boycotts Meeting Over Lack of Vote
2:14 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Welfare Drug-Testing Bill Brings Boycotts

A bill that would allow random drug testing of welfare recipients was the subject of legislative boycotts and hearings today.

House Bill 26 is sponsored by Republican representative Lonnie Napier, who says the bill does not unfairly target anyone and would help rid drug abuse from those who benefit from government programs.

The bill was never expected to come for a vote in committee, leading Napier’s fellow Republicans on the panel to boycott the meeting.

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Local Option Debate
10:32 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Calloway County Clerk Certifies Grow Murray Petition

Steve Snodgrass wikimedia commons

Calloway County Clerk Ray Coursey certified a petition yesterday that will force a vote on the option of selling packaged alcohol sales in the city limits of Murray. The Grow Murray campaign filed the petition several weeks ago requesting the vote. They needed at least 627 signatures for it to be certified. Coursey says the May Primary election will cause some problems for the local option election. The alcohol sales vote cannot occur within 30 days of a regularly scheduled election.

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Eggner's Ferry Bridge
8:56 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Beshear Announces Eggner's Ferry Bridge to be Repaired by Memorial Day

Beshear at Eggner's Ferry Conference 2/15/12

From the Governor's Office...

Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the award of an emergency contract to repair and reopen the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake by Memorial Day weekend – saving the crucial summer tourism season for the region around Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

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Illinois Government
3:37 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Illinois Lawmakes Agree on Revenue Projection

From the Associated Press:

Illinois lawmakers have agreed on how much money will be available for next year's budget. The state Senate joined the House today in approving a revenue estimate of $33.7 billion. The figure amounts to an upper limit for the fiscal year starting July 1. But much of the money will go to paying pensions and old bills, leaving less for day-to-day government services. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno says creating a budget will be the most difficult challenge for legislators.

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