Grimes leads National Association of Secretaries of State in adoption of remote notary standards

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) on Monday moved to adopt remote notary standards drafted by a task force chaired by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mike Smith, president of the Notary Public Administrators (Photo from SOS) The updated electronic notarization standards form a framework by which policymakers,...

Lawmakers taking 3-day President’s Day weekend with pension issue remaining unresolved

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky lawmakers are taking a three-day weekend with the pension issue still unresolved. The General Assembly will not be in session Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day. Sen. Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, expects the pension reform plan that rolls out next week will be met with approval. (Photo by Tom Latek/Kentucky Today) Senate Majority Leader...

Grimes accepting nominations for 2018 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced last week that her office is accepting nominations for the 2018 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award. The award recognizes teachers, school administrators, legislators and community leaders who have made significant contributions toward promoting civic learning to teach students the importance of being engaged citizens. Alison Lundergan...

Lawmakers drop 401(k)-style retirement plan for government workers citing insufficient savings

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A mandatory 401(k)-style plan will not be part of an overhaul of Kentucky’s public pension systems, lawmakers said Wednesday, because the savings wouldn’t be sufficient to make it worthwhile to the state. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the overhaul, which is now in the hands of legislative staffers, has undergone substantial change since...

Longtime Kentucky legislators honored during Black History Month celebration at state capitol

Three longtime members of the Kentucky General Assembly were honored for their years of service and dedication to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens at the 15th annual Black History Month Celebration in the Capitol Rotunda. Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, president of Kentucky State University, was the keynote speaker. Senator Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, presented the 2018 Legacy Achievement...

State providing financial assistance to family foster caregivers; relatives, fictive kin could get payments

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has begun financial assistance payments to eligible relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by CHFS. An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults...

Quarles says president’s infrastructure proposal would address needs of Kentucky, other rural states

An infrastructure proposal unveiled by the Trump Administration would address the needs of Kentucky and other rural states and give them more control over the process, said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, who joined other leaders from throughout the nation to discuss the plan in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Monday. Ryan Quarles “President Trump’s election...

Study of state’s backlogged rape kits finds cost of crimes to victims, taxpayers exceeds $4.2 million

The statewide Sexual Assault Response Team Advisory Committee (SART-AC) has released a report that found the tangible cost to victims and taxpayers of crimes committed by offenders after sexual assault kits weren’t tested is more than $4.2 million. Senate Bill 63 of 2016, known as the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) Act, requires the SART-AC to report on the economic costs of the crimes committed...

PSC to hear public comment on proposed Atmos Energy rate increase Feb. 22 in Owensboro

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a public meeting to provide information and receive public comments on an increase in natural gas base rates proposed by Atmos Energy Corp. Details of the meeting are as follows: Thursday, February 22, 5:30 p.m., CST Fiscal Court Room Daviess County Court House (Use St. Ann Street entracne) 212 St. Ann Street, Owensboro The public comment period...

Department for Local Government hosting 2018 County Budget Workshops at locations across state

The Department for Local Government (DLG) will be conducting a series of eight budget workshops during the months of February and March. This year will focus on the term-ending spending restrictions and requirements. All county judge/executives, magistrates, county commissioners, finance officers and treasurers are encouraged to participate in these half-day workshops and are eligible to receive...

‘Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children’ shows how to minimize impact of parental incarceration on kids

A new Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children issue brief by Kentucky Youth Advocates, Minimizing the Impact of Parental Incarceration on Children, shows three out of every five inmates in state custody have children, impacting approximately 32,700 Kentucky kids. The brief highlights the prevalence of parental incarceration in Kentucky, the impact it has on children, and the criminal justice policy changes...

Lucille ‘Lucy’ Shae DeSmet named Kentucky State Senate’s first ‘Sunny Page’

Senator Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, had a very special guest last Thursday on the floor of the Kentucky State Senate. Her visit to the Capitol allowed Lucille “Lucy” Shae DeSmet to serve not only as Senator Parrett’s first Sunny Page, but earned her the title of the first Sunny Page in the Kentucky General Assembly. The Sunny Page Program was introduced by Senator Parrett and Senator Danny...

Public defenders seek support for Bevin’s budget proposal before house budget subcommittee

Public Advocate Damon Preston appeared before the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice, Public Safety, and the Judiciary Wednesday to explain the needs of Kentucky public defenders in the next biennium. He asked that the subcommittee accept and endorse the additional Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) funding in Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget. Preston began his presentation by thanking...

Bevin hosts community leaders at 52nd annual Kentucky Governor’s prayer breakfast in Lexington

Gov. Matt Bevin was joined in Lexington Wednesday by approximately 1,200 community leaders, elected officials, private citizens, and members of the faith-based community for the 52nd annual Kentucky Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. “People turn to prayer, not because it’s insignificant or a cultural crutch, but because it truly changes things,” said Gov. Bevin. “People earnestly,...

PSC advising customers to seek payment plans, heating assistance as cold temps lead to higher bills

Prolonged and severe cold in December and January has led to sharply higher electric bills for customers across Kentucky, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) says. For many customers – particularly those who heat entirely or primarily with electricity – bills received from late December through January have been much larger than those for the previous billing period. That is because...

Updated: Supreme Court of Ky to hear arguments Feb. 7-9 in Frankfort; proceedings open to public

This story has been updated to reflect that oral arguments in COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. BRIAN MUCHRISON (2016-SC-0378-DG) originally secheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, February 8, have been canceled. The Supreme Court of Kentucky will convene Feb. 7-9 in Frankfort to hear oral arguments in cases that originated in Fayette, Jefferson, Kenton, Laurel, Mason, Pulaski and Warren counties. Proceedings...

Governor Bevin requests cooperation of attorney general in legal efforts against opioid companies

Governor Matt Bevin on Monday called upon Attorney General Andy Beshear to join forces in the fight against the opioid epidemic by pursuing joint legal action against opioid drug manufacturers and distributors. Gov. Bevin’s General Counsel Steve Pitt underscored the need for cooperation in a letter sent to Deputy Attorney General J. Michael Brown, calling upon all parties “to stand united so that...

New website will help Kentuckians with substance abuse disorders connect to treatment centers

Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday announced a new tool in Kentucky’s fight against the opioid epidemic. FindHelpNowKY.org allows users to search in real-time for a local substance use disorder (SUD) treatment center and will be promoted as part of the Governor’s ‘Don’t Let Them Die’ campaign, which seeks to bring awareness to the opioid crisis. “Kentucky is stepping up, ready to lead the nation...

Public Service Commission to hear public comment on Duke Kentucky rate case is Feb. 8 in Florence

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a public meeting next week to provide information and receive public comments on an increase in electric rates proposed by Duke Energy of Kentucky. Details of the meeting are as follows: Thursday, February 8, 5:30 p.m. Auditorium Boone County High School 7056 Burlington Pike Florence, KY 41042 The public comment period will be preceded by a presentation...

Division of Waste Management taking applications for crumb rubber and tire-derived products grants

The Energy and Environment Cabinet is now accepting grant proposals for projects that promote the use of recycled waste tires. This grant has focused on funding 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...