A drop in coal severance tax revenues has several Kentucky leaders worried. Money from the tax on mined coal is used largely for state, county and city infrastructure projects, specifically in coal mining areas like Eastern Kentucky. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear say the significant drop in the tax revenue has caught their attention. Beshear says the decline is due to the tough domestic market for Kentucky coal. But he believes exports could cause a rebound. He points out that Kentucky interests recently struck a deal to send coal to India.
In the wake of last week's shooting death of 26 people at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is joining a chorus of public officials who say a national debate on gun control and mental health is needed.
Before he joins the call for legalized industrial hemp, Gov. Steve Beshear wants law enforcement officials to resolve their concerns about the issue.
The issue: Some Kentucky officials believe legalized industrial hemp would be good for Kentucky's economy, but law enforcement officials are concerned that such a move would conflict with efforts to crack down on marijuana growers.
Kentucky's Executive Branch Ethics Commission has charged a former government official with violating the state's ethics code by allegedly using his position to solicit campaign contributions for Gov. Steve Beshear's re-election campaign last year.