House Speaker Greg Stumbo

Kentucky LRC

Leaders of the Kentucky Senate and House are exchanging words on minimum wage legislation.  The House yesterday approved a bill to raise the minimum wage 95 cents a year for three years, eventually reaching ten dollars ten cents an hour.  Senate President Robert Stivers says his chamber is more interested in creating new jobs.

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Leaders from both the Kentucky House and Senate are scheduled to meet with Gov. Steve Beshear Monday to talk tax reform. 

Lawmakers have been waiting on details of a proposal. Beshear promised weeks ago he would come forward with a legislative proposal to reform taxes.  But, the particulars of how to change the state’s tax structure will likely be revealed in Monday's meeting. 

Kentucky LRC

An effort in Kentucky to fund projects with a new local option sales tax is posing a dilemma for Republican lawmakers.

Democratic Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is backing the proposal, which would allow public votes on temporary sales tax increases to pay for new projects. But Republican State Senate President Robert Stivers says it's difficult to balance higher taxes against civic improvement.

LRC Public Information

A special Kentucky legislative committee investigating sexual harassment complaints against Democratic State Representative John Arnold of Sturgis will meet for the first time September 17th in Frankfort.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced the meeting today. Stumbo said the committee will elect a chairman and set up procedures for conducting the investigation.  Three female legislative workers have filed complaints against Arnold, alleging he touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments.

The special committee could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed a petition that would allow the House to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct against Democratic Representative John Arnold, D-Sturgis.

State lawmakers could then vote to censure or expel the Western Kentucky lawmaker.

In addition to the petition, the House Committee on Committees is sending Arnold a letter saying that he will be suspended as chairman of the Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, Finance and Public Protection.

LRC Public Information

In just over a month, lawmakers are back in Frankfort for a special session on new boundaries for Kentucky’s legislative districts.  But, there are no plans yet to resolve another issue facing the state.

It’s often called real tax reform or comprehensive tax reform. And it’s been on Frankfort’s radar screen for years. Despite numerous proposals, no substantial change in tax policy has come under serious consideration at the statehouse. Gov. Beshear says Kentucky needs a ‘modern tax system’ responsive to a 21st century economy.  But, he admits, politicians would rather avoid the topic.

A three-judge panel has denied a request for a stay in two lawsuits asking that judges redraw legislative boundaries in Kentucky.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo sought the motion for a stay. He says it's the General Assembly's job to set the boundaries.

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A bill requiring prompt pay for health care providers participating in Kentucky's Medicaid managed-care system is heading to the governor's desk — but it isn't veto-proof.

The bill is  sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo and would move disputes between providers and managed care organizations to the Department of Insurance to be settled.

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A bill moving Medicaid managed care late payments to the Department of Insurance's review process has overwhelmingly passed the state House. The measure passed on a unanimous vote of 99-0.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the bill sponsor and says his goal is to make sure health care providers start getting paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, which has been a problem since the MCO system was implemented.

"Because if claims are in fact being withheld unfairly, this will remedy that," Stumbo said. "If claims are being changed as far as the criteria goes in the claims process after they've been submitted this will change that."

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The House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.

The House passed an amended  version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.

It also passed House Bill 416, which takes revenues from the potential expansion and legalization of Instant Racing, from online lottery sales and a new Keno game.

That bill passed with 52 votes, but many Republican members argued that the action was illegal, since revenue bills take a House supermajority of 60 votes to pass in odd-year session.

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