Kentucky education officials are adding a requirement to school health screenings to combat growing childhood obesity problems. The Board of Education recently approved a proposal requiring schools to record a child's body mass index, the relation of body fat to height and weight. Pediatricians say early intervention can prevent life-threatening adult conditions like Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. The proposal also eliminates a decades-long practice of checking middle-school students for signs of the spine condition scoliosis.
Members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth are preparing for next week's I Love Mountains Day rally in Frankfort.
Several members performed a skit in the Capitol Rotunda today depicting fake legislators and coal operators trading cash while the sick and needy looked on. KFTC member Chris Schimmoeller says the point of the skit was to show the cozy relationship coal companies have with lawmakers.
“Big coal has big money running the state and it’s holding our state back from so many things we need to be doing,” she says.
The Kentucky Department of Education announced today the state will receive a waiver from some parts of the No Child Left Behind Law. State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says this means the state can use its newly developed accountability model to report progress to the US government. Federal legislators are attempting to rework the controversial law, but President Obama bypassed Congress, allowing states to apply for the waivers.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a news conference for this afternoon at the Capitol to make what they call a major announcement regarding support for a proposed constitutional legalized gambling amendment. The event is set for noon Central. Governor Steve Beshear says he's expecting a proposal to amend the state Constitution to allow casino-style gambling to be filed soon. He also says lawmakers still have plenty of time remaining in the legislative session to get it passed. The legislative session is scheduled to run into April.
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.
Students from all eight of Kentucky’s public universities have once again descended onFrankfort with a familiar message… stop cutting higher education.
At the annual Rally for Higher Education today, the messages were familiar. Students called on lawmakers to restore or increase funding for higher education. In one of the toughest budget cycles yet, that call is once again likely to go unanswered. But that didn’t stop students like Eastern Kentucky University junior Tyler Goodridge from demonstrating.
Changes to Kentucky's special elections procedures could be imminent.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is supporting a bill to reduce the number of polling places for uncontested special elections for legislative seats.
Grimes says the change will save money for her office, county clerks and taxpayers.
"This means that if an uncontested special election is to occur that the voting doesn't have to occur at the numerous precincts through the county but rather at one location or locations designated by the county Board of Elections," Grimes said.
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.”
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.