Pension reform, updating liquor laws, expanded gaming, a state-wide smoking ban and legalizing the production of industrial hemp are just a few issues Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Kenny Colston thinks will be on the agenda for this year's legislative session in Frankfort. Colston speaks with Chad Lampe about the details surrounding some of those issues and who will fill retiring Sen. Ken Winters's (R-Murray) seat on the senate education committee. Plus, hear if there are any hard feeling between Sen. Bob Leeper (I-Paducah) and Senate President-elect Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) after his failed attempt at seeking the top post in the Senate.
Hospital patients, employees and visitors will be banned from smoking, using chewing tobacco and puffing on electronic cigarettes at Baptist Hospital Madisonville and its various campuses around western Kentucky. The hospital is implementing the new rule on Tuesday. Hospital CEO Bert Whitaker says both patients and visitors have objected to entering the hospital through a cloud of cigarette smoke that wafted over from nearby smoking areas.
Hopkinsville Community College is going tobacco-free policy starting Jan. 1. Smoking has long been prohibited in HCC buildings, but the college created four designated smoking areas on campus in 2008. The Hopkinsville City council enacted a city-wide smoking ban in October and HCC President Jim Selbe tells The Kentucky New Era their smoking areas would’ve violated the ban.
A citizens group says the Caldwell County Fiscal Court should consider a county-wide smoking ban. The CaldWELL Committee surveyed around 300 people in the county on health issues. The survey showed the top issue was banning smoking in public places. Caldwell County Judge-Executive Brock Thomas says the fiscal court will study the issue before they decide to take any action.
Hopkinsville begins a citywide smoking ban in January. The Kentucky New Era reports Mayor Dan Kemp broke a 6-6 tie on the city council at last night’s meeting. The council passed the measure despite vocal opposition that sought to quash it.
The Hopkinsville City Council narrowly passed a first reading of a smoking ban Tuesday with Mayor Dan Kemp casting the deciding vote. The ordinance can’t take effect, however, until a second reading is approved. Mayor Kemp says the move puts Hopkinsville in line with neighboring cities that also have smoking bans in place. Opponents of the ban say they don’t want to take away business owners’ rights.