New state laws, including charter schools, stronger opioid penalties set to take effect June 29

Most new laws approved during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2017 regular session will go into effect on Thursday, June 29. The Kentucky Constitution specifies that new laws take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature unless they have a special effective date, are general appropriations measures, or include an emergency clause that makes them effective immediately upon becoming...

Beshear joins multistate coalition investigating role of drugmakers in ongoing opioid crisis

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced he is working with attorneys general from across the country to investigate whether drug manufacturers contributed to the opioid epidemic by illegally marketing and selling opioids. Beshear said the bipartisan coalition is working to address the national opioid crisis and is using its investigative tools, including subpoenas for documents and testimony. Nationwide...

State PSC modifies Nolin RECC rate hike request, makes changes residential rate structure

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) granted Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. a revenue increase that is somewhat smaller than the amount requested by the electric distribution cooperative. With the rate increase granted by the PSC, a typical Nolin residential customer will see their average monthly electric bill rise by about $12 (11.4 percent), from about $106 to $118. That includes...

Suspended Administrative Office of Courts employee Brown files suit on ‘improprieties,’ faces termination

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A suspended employee of the Administrative Office of the Courts has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging improprieties within the government agency that oversees the operation of the state’s judicial system. Scott Brown was placed on administrative leave earlier this year after reporting concerns to his supervisor, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Franklin...

Bevin names three to Board of Nursing, adds Perconti to Alcohol and Drug Counselors Board

Gov. Matt Bevin has made the following appointments to Kentucky Boards and Commissions: Teresa Huber, Gail Elaine Wise, and Dina Byers have been appointed to the Kentucky Board of Nursing. Huber, of Maysville, is a nurse on faculty at Northern Kentucky University. She shall serve for a term expiring June 30, 2020. Wise, of Mayslick, is a professor of nursing at Kentucky Christian University. She has...

State Transportation Cabinet revs up new paid apprenticeship program for future mechanics

Beginning this fall, students enrolled in an automotive or diesel technology program with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) can apply to gain paid, hands-on experience with local Department of Highways maintenance garages through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) new Transportation Mechanic Apprenticeship Program (TMAP). As the state’s first automotive technician...

State’s new adoption czar joins ‘hands on deck,’ rethinking whole adoption, foster care system

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky’s new adoption czar spent his first day on the job Monday in a meeting of the House Working Group on Adoption. Dan Dumas, appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to lead an overhaul of Kentucky’s adoption and foster care programs, told lawmakers that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the governor’s office will attack problems from all angles. “The...

Bourbon Barrel of Compromise: Henry Clay Center, Kentucky Distillers honor former leaders Daschle, Lott

Continuing a tradition revived in 2015, the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship (HCCS) in partnership with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) will host the second Bourbon Barrel of Compromise on June 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the featured guest and will speak at the event. Former...

Bevin promoting aerospace investment in Kentucky during this week’s International Paris Air Show

Gov. Matt Bevin, Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Terry Gill and other state officials and business representatives will attend the 52nd International Paris Air Show in France this week to discuss new business and expansion opportunities with aviation and aerospace executives from around the globe. “Kentucky is a top location in the U.S. for aviation and aerospace engineering, manufacturing...

County, metro governments invited to apply for state spay and neuter grants before July 14

The Kentucky Animal Control Advisory Board invites county and metro governments in Kentucky to apply for matching grants for spay and neuter activities for 2017. Governments may partner with non-profit organizations to obtain the best use of resources. Funds are extremely limited, and $1,000 is the maximum that can be matched. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with priority given to applicants...

Annual Kentucky Archives Institute set for June 23; state’s 225th anniversary the focus of presentations

The 33rd annual Kentucky Archives Institute is scheduled for June 23 at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), 300 Coffee Tree Road, Frankfort. In celebration of Kentucky’s 225th anniversary of statehood, presentations will focus on early Kentucky history, records and research. Featured speakers include Dr. Richard Taylor, visiting writer, Transylvania University; Kandie Adkinson,...

Bevin appoints two to Judicial Nominating panel; Valentine named Coldstream councilman

Gov. Matt Bevin made the following appointments to Kentucky Boards and Commissions: Kristin Reese Williams and Dennis Jackson have been appointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 2nd Judicial Circuit and District of Kentucky. Williams, of Paducah, is a small business owner. She shall serve for a term expiring Jan. 1, 2020. Jackson, of Paducah, is a retired educator. He shall serve for...

Lexington’s Kelly Knight Craft is Trump’s choice to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today WASHINGTON – Kentucky’s Kelly Knight Craft will be President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada. The White House announced Trump’s intention to nominate Craft on Wednesday, confirming widespread speculation that had been in the U.S. and Canadian press for weeks. The U.S. Senate will need to confirm her nomination before Craft...

Mulch manufacturer to invest $3.8 million in Whitley County; facility to include 21 new jobs

Sims Bark Co. of Georgia LLC, a provider of mulch, soil, rock products and other landscaping material, will locate a new 21-job manufacturing operation in Whitley County, Gov. Matt Bevin announced. “The new facility by Sims Bark adds to the Commonwealth’s thriving timber and forest-products industry while creating sustainable jobs and positive economic impact for Eastern Kentucky,” Bevin said....

State Public Service Commission fines City of Liberty $60,000 for natural gas safety violations

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has fined the city of Liberty $60,000 for its repeated failures to conduct leakage surveys of the city-operated natural gas distribution system. In an order issued today, the PSC levied the $60,000 civil penalty but suspended $50,000 of the fine until Jan. 1, 2023, subject to Liberty’s compliance with conditions set forth in the order. Those conditions...

Veteran personnel cabinet administrator named to oversee new Red Flag Reporting System

Larry Gillis has been appointed to serve as an ombudsman for the Personnel Cabinet and will serve as liaison to handle tips through the new Red Flag Reporting System. The system was established by the Finance and Administration Cabinet and provides an avenue for state employees and others to report questionable activities within state government. As part of this role, Gillis will field, investigate...

Bevin announces creation of Kentucky Work Matters Task Force to promote inclusion in hiring

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Tuesday the creation of the Kentucky Work Matters Task Force at a press conference with federal and state officials and other special guests in the State Capitol Rotunda. The new 23-member task force will bring together every department of state government that has a hand in workforce development with members of the private sector. Their mission is to address barriers to employment...

Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance to add 15-job facility in Eastern Kentucky on $284,000 investment

Gov. Matt Bevin announced that Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance Inc., which provides aircraft maintenance, avionics, painting and structural repair, along with overhauling and refurbishment, will open a 15-employee operation at Big Sandy Regional Airport in Martin County. “We are excited to see this continued growth of Kentucky-based Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance,” Bevin said. “This new...

Map produced by attorney general’s office identifies victim advocates on a county-by-county basis

In his ongoing efforts to help improve responses to victims, Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Office of Victims Advocacy have created a statewide map of victim advocates that includes local and regional prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. A core mission of Beshear’s is to seek justice for victims, and the map is necessary to strengthen and publicize the network of victim advocacy across...

Three community groups receive awards for elder abuse prevention efforts by state cabinet

Three community groups have received awards for their work to stop elder abuse. The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), presented the awards at a recent conference focusing on elder abuse prevention. Big Sandy Elder Abuse Council, the Kentucky River Council Against the Maltreatment of Elders (CAME) and the Purchase Elder Abuse Council...