Kentucky

www.education.ky.gov

The Commonwealth is seeing gains and losses in its race to reach top tier national status in key areas of education. In 2008, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence challenged the state to reach the top 20 by the year 2020.

The committee Wednesday released an update on the state's progress. According to the report, Kentucky is on track to meet the goal in areas like fourth and eighth grade reading, teacher salaries, and Advanced Placement credits. However, the state has lost ground in areas including eighth grade math and the share of higher education costs to families.

Prichard Committee Director Stu Silberman says it's well past time to act on tax reform and put more state resources into education. 

Arnold Paul, via Wikimedia Commons

As candidates to become Kentucky’s next governor scramble to pledge allegiance to the coal industry, there’s one question they’re not addressing: Does burning coal contribute to climate change?

None of the three announced candidates for governor—former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, both Republicans; nor Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway—have offered a statement one way or another about whether they agree with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels like coal makes the planet warmer and destabilizing the climate.

State Government Audit Under Review

Aug 11, 2014
RXUYDC, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

An audit of state government by the National Conference of State Legislatures is currently under “review” by Kentucky political leaders but the report hasn’t been made public.

A spokesman for the NCSL says on April 25 a preliminary draft of their report was delivered to Marcia Seiler, the acting director of the Legislative Research Commission, and to members of state House and Senate leadership.

Konstantin Fedin, 123rf Stock Photo

Messages technology addressing designated driving are working to lower drunken driving crashes in Kentucky according to Director of the state's office of highway safety, Bill Bell, who admits the drop in recent years has been slim.  

Fiscal Courts in Coal Counties Get Refunds

Aug 7, 2014
NRDC

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that 34 fiscal courts in the Commonwealth will receive refunds from mining permit and acreage fees.  Eight counties in our region will receive refunds totaling $58,377.

Eric Molina, Wikimedia Commons

A new report indicates the number of overdose deaths in Kentucky is leveling off. In 2013, there were one-thousand-and-seven drug overdoses statewide, just three more than the year before. The leader of Kentucky’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Van Ingram said while he’s disappointed the numbers haven’t decreased, there are still bits of good news that can be found in the report.

arkencounter.com

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Board has approved $18 million in tax breaks for a controversial Christian theme park in Northern Kentucky.

The board unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve sales tax incentives for the Ark Encounter, a religious theme park to be built in Williamstown. The theme park is controlled by Answers in Genesis, a conservative Christian non-profit that also operates the Creation Museum.

Lawmakers Get Medicaid Update

Jul 25, 2014
iStockPhoto

State lawmakers got an update Thursday on Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in Frankfort from Lawrence Kissner, Commissioner for Kentucky’s Department of Medicaid Services.

Kissner says his department is on track to fully implement the expansion, and enrollee health outcomes are improving under the new federal health care law.

Wikimedia Commons

The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport has seen marked growth over the last few years and shows no sign of stopping.  The airport has expanded its runway to 8,000 feet, making it the third airport in Kentucky with a runway 8,000 feet or longer (CORRECTED: WKMS originally reported the Owensboro runway was the third longest in Kentucky). 

Immigration Reform Could Help Kentucky Economy

Jul 4, 2014
kypolicy.org

The study, “New Americans in Kentucky,” was published this week by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. It found that immigrants make up 3 percent of the state’s population, with one-in-five immigrants to Kentucky originating from Mexico. Kentucky’s immigrant population grew faster than all but six states from 2000 to 2012.

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