Government

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.

 

Stumbo Supports Pill Mill Bill

Feb 6, 2012

Governor Steve Beshear and other state officials reiterated the importance of a legislative package focused on fighting prescription drug abuse today (Mon). House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed House Bill 4 last week calling for tougher restrictions on pain management clinics and better use of the state’s prescription monitoring system. Stumbo calls the issue a bi-partisan effort.

“It doesn’t matter whose name is on it, it matters what names it saves down the road, what lives it affects, and how it has a positive impact on this problem. And I believe that it will.”

A Kentucky judge is taking more time to decide the future of the state's new legislative district maps.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd heard four hours of testimony Monday on whether the plan that redraws state House and Senate districts are constitutional.

Department of Energy

Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield says a bill to allow re-enrichment of uranium at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant has reached a stalemate in Washington.

Kentucky's bourbon distillers may soon be getting one of their biggest wishes… a change in the barrel tax.

The tax, named because it charges property taxes on bourbon aging in barrels in distillery warehouses, is one of its kind.

But other alcoholic beverages made it the commonwealth aren't subject to the same taxes, Beshear says.

It is the only such tax in the world and it's not assessed in Kentucky on any other alcoholic beverage such as beer, vodka or scotch whiskey, he said.

Murray, KY – No compromise has been made between the drastically different redistricting plans passed through the Kentucky Legislature. Plans being pushed by House Democrats and Senate Republicans are nearing the possibility that federal courts may end up resolving the issue. Commentator Richard Nelson says this kind of partisan political bomb-throwing won't garner any love between constituents and the powers that be in Frankfort.

Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, a perennial candidate in Kentucky politics for decades died late yesterday.

Galbraith was 64. His death was made public on Facebook by his former running mate Dea Riley. The cause of death has not yet been released, but LEX 18 is reporting the Fayette County coroner said Galbraith had been dealing with congestion and died in his sleep.

In his inauguration speech, Gov. Steve Beshear spoke about education and the importance of building a generation that can lead Kentucky in the future. But it was a far cry from the pro-coal rhetoric that dominated some of his speeches earlier this year. Beshear’s avoidance of the issue didn’t surprise many observers, who know where the governor stands on coal.

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