House Approves Amish Bill
3:38 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Amish Buggie Bill Clears House


Proposals to allow the Amish to use reflective tape on their buggies instead of state-mandated orange triangles have passed both Kentucky legislative chambers.

The House voted today in favor of a bill that requires the Amish to put 200 inches of red tape on their buggies. The bill passed overwhelmingly, 90-9, despite objections from lawmakers in areas where the bill would matter the most. Among the no votes was Representative Martha Jane King of Logan County.  She's heard concerns that the tape isn't as easily seen or as safe as the orange triangle that's used currently.

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Synthetic Drug Laws
3:13 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Kentucky Lawmakers Renew Efforts Against Synthetic Drugs

Kentucky lawmakers are doubling down on efforts to fight synthetic drugs.

Synthetic drugs are chemically-altered substances meant to simulate other drugs. House Bill 481 would drastically increase penalties for crimes related to synthetic drugs. The measure is the General Assembly’s latest attempt to catch up with increasingly-popular methods of getting high.

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Gambling Debate
3:08 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Governor Beshear Won't Back Down from Gambling Debate

Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week.

Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling his main priority. This year, he attempted to pass a constitutional amendment dealing with the issue through the state Senate. The bill fell seven votes short of passage in a vote that critics say should be the end of the issue. But Beshear says the vote gave more resolve to the business leaders and horse racing interests who back the idea.

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3:06 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Kentucky Healthcare Groups form Cancer Fighting Partnership

Several healthcare groups have come together in a public-private partnership to fight cancer in Kentucky.

The newly-formed Kentucky Cancer Foundation is part of a two-million-dollar initiative to help uninsured Kentuckians get cancer screenings.

In his proposed two year budget, Governor Steve Beshear earmarked half a million dollars each year for colon cancer screenings. He also proposed raising another million from a public-private partnership.

At a news conference to announce the partnership, Beshear conceded that two million dollars won’t go very far.

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KY GOP Reorganization
3:02 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Rand Paul Seeking Grassroots Support for KY Republican Party Reorganization

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is encouraging his supporters to get involved in the reorganization of the state Republican Party. Paul e-mailed supporters asking them to take part in precinct elections get county delegates to the state convention where the top Republican Party of Kentucky leaders are chosen. RPK holds its reorganization every four years to coincide with presidential elections. There’s no talk in Paul’s letter about taking over the party, but getting supporters elected to local, county and state positions is a tool the senator’s father, U.S.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
2:05 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

KYTC Inspector General Fired

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Inspector General David Ray has been fired. Ray tells The Courier-Journal he was surprised when Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock told him Friday he was being dismissed after about 8 years of service. Ray says he was not given a reason. The Inspector General’s office is the Transportation Cabinet’s investigative arm and the position is non-merit, meaning employees like Ray can be fired without cause.  KYTC spokesman Chuck Wolfe says he can’t comment on the reason for the inspector general's dismissal.

8:50 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Groups Call on Beshear to Cancel Prayer Breakfast

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has joined in a call for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to cancel a prayer breakfast next week.  The group sent a letter to the governor Monday, contending the event is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.  Beshear says the March 6th prayer breakfast is a long-held tradition that he won’t cancel.  The Freedom from Religion Foundation had made a similar request last week on the same grounds.

Child Welfare
8:46 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Analysis: Child Safety Not Always a Priority

A report published in the Lexington Herald Leader finds child safety in Kentucky is sometimes overlooked by social workers in domestic violence cases.  The newspaper based its findings on 85 internal Cabinet for Health and Family Services reviews from 2009 and 2010.  The agency performed these reviews when children with whom they had contact either died or received serious injuries.

2012 General Assembly
8:27 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Expanded Gaming Discussed on Kentucky Tonight

The President of Kentucky Downs Racetrack says the expanded gambling issue isn’t going to go away, even after the state Senate rejected a constitutional amendment on the subject last week.  Corey Johnson also chairs the Kentucky Equine Education Project. He says gambling revenues in other states continue to lure breeders away from the Commonwealth.

‘It takes human beings to take care of horses so when the horse leave, the jobs go away so it is a very, very..we have hundreds of stallions who have left the state.”

Kentucky Legislature
8:30 am
Mon February 27, 2012

What's Next for Kentucky Lawmakers

Although two major issues have been nearly resolved, Kentucky lawmakers still have a full agenda this session.

Redistricting and expanded gambling dominated the first half of the session. The gambling bill was defeated last week and redistricting was settled by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

But that doesn’t mean the legislative work is over. Lawmakers still have a two-year budget to pass. Senate President David Williams says that's just one of several pressing issues.

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