Anderson, Graves counties earn certification as Kentucky Work Ready Communities, Heiner says

Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner announced that Anderson and Graves counties have been certified as Kentucky Work Ready Communities. Carter, Clinton and Pendleton counties have been certified as Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress. “I am excited to announce that we now have 35 counties that have achieved Work Ready Communities certification by the Kentucky Workforce...

Kentucky Infrastructure Authority names McNeil as its new executive director

The Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) has named Donna L. McNeil as the new executive director. The KIA board approved McNeil’s appointment as director at their monthly meeting. McNeil recently served as Compliance Specialist with the Kentucky Rural Water Association (KRWA) in Bowling Green. There she served as chair of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Committee and as proxy...

Governor selects 21 recreational trails projects to receive federal development, maintenance funds

Gov. Matt Bevin and the Department for Local Government (DLG) selected 21 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) projects for funding up to $1.3 million. This grant assists in maintaining and developing Kentucky’s vast network of recreational trails. RTP is funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and is administered by DLG. “Outdoor recreational opportunities enhance the quality of life...

Fentanyl crackdown bill clears House committee; Senate passes smoke free schools measure

FRANKFORT—A bill that would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of fentanyl, carfentanil and related drugs tied to an increase in drug overdoses in Kentucky has passed the House Judiciary Committee. Trafficking in any amount of fentanyl, a pain killer now frequently imported for illegal street sales, and drugs derived from fentanyl as well as carfentanil—a large animal anesthetic...

Kentucky shatters export record in 2016 with aerospace, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals leading

Kentucky’s exports broke an all-time record in 2016 with $29.24 billion in goods and services shipped abroad from the Commonwealth, a 5.8-percent increase from 2015, Gov. Matt Bevin announced. Aerospace products and parts led all categories with more than $10.85 billion in goods exported internationally, an increase of more than 24 percent over 2015. Kentucky ranked second nationally for 2016 in...

Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission ends criminal history disclosure requirement for job seekers

Following Gov. Matt Bevin’s lead on ‘fair chance’ employment and granting ‘second chances’ to individuals with criminal histories, the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission voted to remove a long-standing hurdle in the hiring process. The Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission unanimously approved the removal of the question, “Have you ever been convicted of any criminal offense?” as a requirement...

Kentucky Tourism Department launches special website highlighting state’s 225th anniversary

The Kentucky Department of Tourism has announced the launch of www.ky225.com, a website dedicated to the celebration of Kentucky’s 225 years of statehood in 2017. The website includes an interactive map of bucket list ideas to experience across the state, as well as list of events and information on Kentucky’s statehood. Examples include visiting the oldest country store in America, sampling BBQ,...

House approves Bratcher’s bill to add first responders to Kentucky’s hate crime statutes

Police, firefighters and other first responders would be added to those protected by Kentucky’s hate crime statute under a bill approved Monday by the Kentucky House of Representatives. House Bill 14, sponsored by House Majority Whip Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, would allow those who assault, kidnap, or commit certain other violent offenses against first responders to face stricter sentencing in...

Bevin announces $5.7 million in Community Development Block Grants for 13 projects

On behalf of Gov. Matt Bevin, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton joined Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Sandy Dunahoo in a Capitol rotunda ceremony to announce over $5.7 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for 13 new projects in Kentucky. These grants impact multiple regions and counties across the Commonwealth. “We are excited to announce 13 new Community Development Block...

PSC halts abandonment of Hardin County utility pending completion of engineering work

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has ordered the operators of a small sewer utility in Hardin County to continue operations and to hire an engineering firm to draw up plans for connecting to the Elizabethtown municipal sewer system. In June 2016, Airview Utilities, LLC filed notice of its intent to abandon the system, which includes sewers and a wastewater treatment plant serving about...

State Revenue Department says Kentucky taxpayers are getting refunds quicker than expected

Kentucky taxpayers who have submitted their individual tax returns and are expecting a refund will not have to wait any longer for processing. Kentucky Department of Revenue’s (DOR) tax return testing and processing was completed earlier than planned and refund checks are being processed now, nearly a week before the original Feb. 15 date. “The Kentucky Department of Revenue’s number one priority...

Former newsman Staats named to lead state Citizen Foster Care Review Board

Howard E. “Ed” Staats of Crestwood has been named head of the State Citizen Foster Care Review Board, which guides the work of local Citizen Foster Care Review Boards statewide. Staats, a retired news service executive, advanced to be the board’s state chairman after serving in the elected position of vice chairman for two years. His term as chairman is two years. CFCRBs are teams of court-appointed...

Eleven loans approved by Kentucky Infrastructure Authority during February meeting

The following loan applications were approved by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) at the February board meeting held last week in Frankfort. KIA administers low interest loans for the construction, improvement and acquisition of sanitary sewer and water facilities and other types of infrastructure. Eligibility is based on a strategic project prioritization and a resource planning list...

Energy and Environment Cabinet seeking proposals for projects promoting use of recycled tires

The Energy and Environment Cabinet is now accepting grant proposals for projects that promote the use of recycled waste tires. This grant has been used to fund crumb rubber mulch for landscaping projects in recent years, but the cabinet is encouraging applicants to expand the scope of potential projects for this grant cycle.  In addition to landscaping mulch projects, the cabinet is seeking requests...

Kentucky Department of Revenue taking precautions to protect safety of taxpayer information

To help guard against the growing threat of tax fraud and identity theft, the Kentucky Department of Revenue (DOR) has taken additional steps that enhance the safety and security of processing taxpayers’ individual income tax returns, including an Identity Confirmation Quiz. Beginning this week, some taxpayers will receive letters from the department asking the taxpayer to take a short online Identity...

BGADD installs news board leadership, recognizes service at annual meeting; Pryor is chairman

New officers of the Bluegrass Area Development District (BGADD) were installed at the board’s annual meeting. The new officers are Chairman Judge Mike Pryor (Nicholas County); Vice-Chair Judge Harold McKinney (Boyle County); Treasurer Mayor Brian Traugott (Woodford County); and Secretary Judge Mike Williams (Bourbon County).  The board consists of 72 individuals made of up 17 County Judges,...

Quarles, Grimes, Beshear address rally supporting Agriculture Department’s Hunger Initiative

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles gave an update of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) Hunger Initiative and urged all Kentuckians to help fight hunger in a rally to raise awareness of Kentucky’s hunger problem Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda. “The Kentucky Hunger Initiative got off to a great start in 2016, and we are continuing our efforts to develop a strategy to reduce...

Second round of funding announced for state Work Ready initiative; applications due March 16

Gov. Matt Bevin and Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner announced Tuesday the launch of the second round of funding for the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative (WRSI). Applications for $34 million in funding are due by March 16. The second round of bond funding is part of a $100 million statewide bond program aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce in the...

Kentucky General Assembly reconvenes; week highlighted by State of Commonwealth address

The 2017 Kentucky General Assembly reconvened in Frankfort Tuesday for the remainder of a session that will conclude after 30 total working days in March. Gov. Matt Bevin The highlight of the first week back after a recess is Wednesday’s State of the Commonwealth Address by Gov. Matt Bevin. It is the second such appearance by Bevin of his administration. The entire address will be live on Gov....

Bevin names six new members to Kentucky Commission on Women; two added to facilities panel

Gov. Matt Bevin has made the following appointments to Kentucky Commission on Women and the School Facilities Construction Commission. Krista Amy Fennel, Sarah Cameron, Brenda Lee Gluck, Miranda Leigh Aavatsmark, Greta Greenwade Jones, and Danette J. Wilder have been appointed to the Kentucky Commission on Women. • Krista Amy Fennel, of Paducah, shall serve for a term expiring Jan. 17, 2021. • Sarah...