Fearing wealthy donors might unduly influence Supreme Court races, a Kentucky lawmaker is pushing a longshot proposal that would create a public financing system for would-be justices on the state's highest court. State Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, says the legislation is needed in the wake of a 2010 U.S.
Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Rick Rand says he expects no major overhaul of Governor Steve Beshear's budget proposal. Rand says House lawmakers will likely do some "fine tuning" but Governor Beshear's 19 and a half billion dollar two-year budget proposal won't undergo wholesale changes. Lawmakers spent Sunday at the Capitol examining the budget proposal, which could be presented to House lawmakers for a vote within two weeks. Rand says he expects the almost 8 and a half percent cuts Beshear proposed for most government agencies will largely stay in place.
Catholic bishops have issued a stern warning about the potential consequences if Kentucky lawmakers approve a proposal to legalize casinos. Catholic Conference of Kentucky executive director Patrick Delahanty distributed a letter to state senators today detailing the concerns of the state's four Bishops who represent some 400,000 parishioners in the state.
“A lot of this opposition is for us is because this is not a reliable source of income, it’s regressive in nature, and we need to find better ways to meet the needs of Kentuckians.”
Hundreds of educators from 17 states are headed to Kentucky to learn how the state is using a new set of nationwide standards in its public schools to get students ready for college. The forum on the Common Core State Standards will be held Feb. 27 to 29 in Louisville. The state's Council on Postsecondary Education says in a news release that more than 300 educators are expected to attend. The Common Core State Standards are benchmarks designed to ensure a uniform public K-12 education from state-to-state.
Commonwealth budget cuts will deal a finishing blow to Madisonville's medical examiner's office. At a meeting of west Kentucky coroners two weeks ago the state's chief medical examiner Dr. Tracey Corey announced the office will close July 1. The office has been without an examiner since June, requiring officials in 24 counties to travel to Louisville each time an autopsy is needed. The Paducah Sun produced the story over the weekend.
Constables in Kentucky have been around for over 160 years. But however necessary the county-level job may have been in 1850, some lawmakers today believe it's no longer relevant. Others maintain constables free up law enforcement for more pressing work and provide an additional set of eyes and ears for police and sheriff's departments. Now, Senate Bill 30 is under consideration in Frankfort. The measure would allow counties more latitude to decide what constables do. SB 30 began life, however, as a constitutional amendment that would've abolished the office.