Governor Steve Beshear has put together a bipartisan group of 23 Kentuckians to serve on his tax commission.
The group is made up partially of lawmakers from each party, although they won’t be able to vote on commission issues. Other members include former University of Kentucky president Lee Todd, banker and Republican fundraiser Marion Forcht, and Louisville businessman Junior Bridgeman.
The commission's recommendations for changes to the state tax code are due by November 15, well after the current legislative session ends.
Opponents of a measure that bans Tennessee public schools from teaching about gay issues say they'll continue to show up in large groups to protest the legislation. The proposal, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, is sponsored by Republican Representative and House Education Subcommittee chair Joey Hensley. It was scheduled to be heard by the subcommittee Wednesday, but Hensley says he wanted to be out by a certain time and delayed taking up his bill and others until next week. Chris Sanders is chairman of the Nashville committee of the Tennessee Equality Project, which organized the gathe
U.S. House Republicans are again attacking new environmental regulations that limit the amount of mercury and other pollution power plants can emit. The new rules were the subject of a House subcommittee meeting today. The hearing, led by Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, essentially can be summarized like this: Republicans question all of the data released by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the cost of the regulations and their effect on the economy.
Efforts to redraw Kentucky's U.S. House districts are dead in the General Assembly.
State House Speaker Greg Stumbo made that declaration after the state Senate could not agree to the latest compromise on district maps.
"I think that ship has sailed, that bell's rung," Stumbo said. "I think the Secretary of State will have to certify those folks as the candidates and so the current status of law is that in my opinion they would run in the current Congressional district."
Amish men from across Kentucky arrived at the Capitol Tuesday to watch the Senate approve a bill allowing them to use reflective tape on their horse-drawn buggies rather than the bright orange triangular signs some object to on religious grounds. The vote passed unanimously and that now goes to the House for consideration. Murray Republican Ken Winters sponsored the measure that allows buggy drivers to use gray or silver reflective tape to outline their vehicles. Winters says tests show the reflective tape makes the buggies visible up to 1,000 feet away.
Kentucky’s House Local Government Committee is set to consider legislation establishing a process for counties to voluntarily unify. Bill sponsor Republican Adam Koenig says the measure means two or more counties could consolidate if voters approve. Unification has long been a hot topic in the 120 county Commonwealth. But local officials have been resistant to the idea. Koenig says his proposal should be acceptable because it doesn't force consolidation.
A Franklin Circuit Court judge has thrown out new legislative district maps, saying they violate the basic principles of the Kentucky Constitution.
Judge Phillip Shepherd’s ruling is based on the so-called “five percent rule.” It says new districts must be within five percent of their ideal size. Shepherd added that the maps of both the House and Senate districts divided too many counties.
A judge has ruled that Kentucky lawmakers can't implement newly redrawn legislative districts. Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled this afternoon on the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of newly redrawn district boundaries. House Republicans unhappy with the outcome of the legislative redistricting battle filed the lawsuit in January claiming the new boundaries favor Democrats. The lawsuit contends the legislative districts could have been better balanced by population and could have been drawn in a way that required fewer splits in counties and precincts.
Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller has resigned.
Miller was appointed as head of the cabinet by Governor Steve Beshear during his first term. The agency is responsible for overseeing Medicaid and various social services.
Miller’s resignation comes while the cabinet’s transparency regarding child abuse cases is being challenged in court. She is the second cabinet leader to resign in the recent months. She follows Patricia Wilson, who served as commissioner for the department overseeing child welfare services.