Government

Government
2:30 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Initial Arguments Made in Redistricting Appeal

Kentucky lawmakers who successfully sued to keep new district maps from taking effect have filed new motions with the state Supreme Court.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled two weeks ago that the maps of new House and Senate districts were unconstitutional because they weren't in line with population variance numbers previously set by the Supreme Court. The Legislative Research Commission promptly appealed the case.

The LRC argues that the five percent variance per district rule is invalid because it isn't based on constitutional law.

Constables
1:19 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Change in Constable Bill Could Free Up its Path to Passage

A Senate bill that would give county governments more control over constables could have enough support to become law.

Originally, both chambers pursued constitutional amendments to eliminate the office of constable altogether, spurred by several recent instances of constables abusing their power.

But an agreement not to crowd the fall ballot with constitutional amendments led to the Senate proposal.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Larry Clark says now that the bill’s scope has changed, it has a good chance of making it through the House.

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Government
10:39 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Kentucky SB 30 and the Future of County Constable

Constables in Kentucky have been around for over one hundred and sixty years. But however necessary the county-level job may have been in 1850, some lawmakers today believe it's no longer relevant. Others maintain constables free up law enforcement for more pressing work and provide an additional set of eyes and ears for police and sheriff's departments. Now, Senate Bill 30 is under consideration in Frankfort. The measure would allow counties more latitude to decide what constables do. SB 30 began life, however, as a constitutional amendment that would've abolished the office.

Government
9:09 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Felon Voting Rights

The Kentucky House of Representatives has approved a proposal that would let Kentuckians decide whether to amend the state Constitution to restore some felons' voting rights.  The measure by Democratic Representative Jesse Crenshaw of Lexington passed Thursday. Most felons would be eligible to vote after they have served their sentences or completed probation. It would not apply to those convicted of treason, intentional killing, sex crimes or bribery. If approved in the Senate, the proposal would then go to the secretary of state.

Government
9:07 am
Fri February 17, 2012

State Trail Grants

Graves and Livingston counties are among the 38 recipients in Kentucky of almost two million dollars in federal grants for recreational trail projects. The money will be used for hiking, biking, horseback riding trails. First lady Jane Beshear made the announcement earlier this week in Frankfort. Graves County received 90,000 dollars for its fitness trail and Livingston County received nearly 20 thousand dollars for the second phase of its Park Trail Project.

Government
7:42 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Paducah/McCracken County Merger

McCracken County's Joint Consolidation Study Commission held the last of its four scheduled public meetings Thursday to present its draft plan to merge Paducah and McCracken County governments. More than 175 people attended the event at Lone Oak Middle School. They voiced concerns over such issues as the number of representatives on the proposed government's council. Commission Vice Chairman Tom Garrett says they'll meet soon to discuss the public's concerns and possibly adjust the draft.

Government
4:08 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Auto Incentives Bill

A Louisville lawmaker is looking to enhance job creation in Kentucky's auto industry by amending a law that's already on the books.

House Speaker Pro Temp Larry Clark has filed House Bill 400 to update the 2007 Kentucky Jobs Retention Act, which helped bring 3,000 jobs to Ford plants in Louisville.

This year's bill would retract requirements that incentives only go to facilities in Louisville or Lexington. That would let Kentucky's other two car makers take advantage of the program.

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Government
3:41 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Beshear Pushes for Preschool Funding

Governor Steve Beshear is urging state lawmakers to approve a budget proposal that would raise the income eligibility level for public preschool to 160 percent of the federal poverty rate. Preschool in Kentucky is currently offered to 4-year-olds whose family income is 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less. Children with developmental delays or disabilities are also eligible. Beshear says more kids need to get an early start in school:

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Government
3:38 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Final Merger Forum Tonight at LOHS

The fourth and final public forum discussing a possible merger for McCracken County and Paducah governments is tonight at Lone Oak High School at 6:30 p.m. The Charter County Government Merger Committee has worked on the merger plan since 2009 before presenting it to the public in January. After tonight’s forum, the committee will meet to discuss concerns voiced by residents before finalizing the plan and deciding if the issue belongs on the ballot in November.

Government
3:04 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Pseudoephedrine Bill Clears Committee

A bill that would make pseudoephedrine available only by prescription in Kentucky has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

PSE is commonly found in cold medicines and is also used to make meth. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard another hour of testimony on the issue from law enforcement officers and former meth addicts today before passing the bill out of committee.

Before the vote, sponsor Robert Stivers promised to continue pushing the measure regardless of its eventual fate.

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