PSC okays Kentucky American Water’s purchase of Eastern Rockcastle Water Association

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the sale of the Eastern Rockcastle Water Association to Kentucky American Water Co. (KAWC). KAWC is to pay no more than $770,000, subject to a final accounting of Eastern Rockcastle’s finances. In an order issued today, the PSC found that the sale will benefit Eastern Rockcastle’s customers, since KAWC has greater resources available to...

Lexington to join shelter providers in effort to count homeless in Fayette County as part of 2018 LexCount

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention will partner with community homeless shelter providers to conduct a count of homeless individuals and families in Fayette County as part of the 2018 LexCount. LexCount is a point-in-time snapshot of the homeless population in Lexington and Fayette County. The count includes people who are temporarily residing in emergency...

Coalition announces push for revenue-raising tax reform in response to state budget proposal

With millions in cuts to education funding, the elimination of 70 programs and more than 6 percent cuts elsewhere in the budget, a broad-based coalition has announced they will lobby lawmakers to clean up tax breaks to raise revenue in the current legislative session. The coalition, a diverse group of 38 organizations called Kentucky Together who represent education, public employee, retiree, health,...

Kentucky simplifies Child Care Assistance Program application process with online service benefind

It’s now easier for Kentucky families to apply for child care assistance funds. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has moved eligibility services for its Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) into benefind, the public assistance web portal used by customers to apply for other state assistance programs. The online service, benefind, is already...

Transportation Cabinet unveils newly redesigned, mobile optimized website to better serve users

After a year devoted to designing, developing and refreshing the appearance of its public-facing website, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) officials have unveiled the new look of its now mobile-friendly website, transportation.ky.gov. Established in 2003 and last overhauled in 2011, the website was due for an upgrade to better serve the 2.8 million annual visitors who use it to access information...

Kentucky unemployment drops to lowest level since Dec. 2002 as more people enter state’s workforce

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary December unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS). The unemployment rate for December 2017 was down from the revised 4.7 percent reported for November 2017. The preliminary December 2017 jobless rate was down 0.4 percentage points from the 4.8 percent recorded for the state in December...

Deborah Williamson named acting deputy commissioner for the Dept. of Workplace Standards

Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey has announced the appointment of Deborah Williamson as the Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Workplace Standards. “Deborah Williamson brings an enormous wealth of experience and knowledge to the Department of Workplace Standards,” Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey said. “Dr. Williamson has already made a huge impact on the Registered Apprenticeship program...

Despite bitter cold, Lexington Fire Department urges citizens to stay off frozen lakes and ponds

The Lexington Fire Department is seeing an increase in residents out on frozen lakes and ponds and warns this could be fatal. Freezing temperatures in Lexington have caused many neighborhood ponds as well as other bodies of water to freeze. And while it may be tempting to walk, play or skate on frozen water, the ice can easily break and put you in a dangerous situation quickly. “We can’t emphasis...

Energy and Environment Cabinet announces grants to clean up illegal dumps in 20 Kentucky counties

Energy and Environment Secretary Charles Snavely announced today approximately $1.5 million in grant funding has been awarded for the cleanup of 108 illegal dumps in 20 counties across the Commonwealth. “This grant program has been very successful in helping counties clean up their communities, but Illegal dumping is still a problem that affects property values and quality of life across the commonwealth,”...

Gov. Bevin: 6.25% cut across board, fund pensions, workforce training, SEEK funding, adoption . . .

Gov. Matt Bevin tonight delivered his 2018 State of the Commonwealth and Budget Address to the General Assembly and fellow Kentuckians, outlining his plan to continue getting the state’s financial house in order. “Kentucky has just completed a truly transformative year of achievement, where many important seeds of progress were sown,” said Gov. Bevin. “However, the truth remains that after...

State Budget Director reports strong revenue receipts in December, ’17; general fund up 11.2 percent

The Office of State Budget Director has reported that December’s General Fund receipts were the highest on record as receipts totaled $1,140.1 million. Revenue collections increased 11.2 percent compared to December of last year, an increase of $114.8 million.  Receipts have increased 3.1 percent for the first six months of the fiscal year that ends June 30.  Second quarter collections rose 3.2...

Governor’s Awards for the Arts presentation to be live streamed for the first time February 2

Presentation of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts will be live-streamed this year for the first time. The ceremony will be held Feb. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Executive Mansion. A link to view the live stream of the awards’ presentation will be available on Governor Bevin’s official Facebook page on Feb. 2. The Governor’s Awards in the Arts ceremony, coordinated by the Kentucky Arts...

Frankfort this week: Marsy’s Law clears Senate; others followed on rare diseases, organ donors, pets

The General Assembly’s 2018 session passed one of its early milestones this week as the first bill to clear a chamber this year was approved by the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday.   The legislation, known as Senate Bill 3, brought back an issue lawmakers have considered before: adding language to the state constitution that specifies certain rights that should be afforded to crime victims. These rights...

Kentucky is first to get Medicaid waiver; Bevin says Kentucky HEALTH is answer, but opposition is strong

Kentucky is the first state to get a Medicaid waiver that would permit the state to require work of service to quality for the insurance. Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday afternoon that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had approved the Commonwealth’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH — “Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health.” Bevin...

Kentucky saves $2.5 million in cost of care through use of innovative web-based ‘LiveHealth’ initiative

The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet and Secretary Tom Stephens announced $2.5 million in cost of care savings achieved through an innovative health and wellness service. The “LiveHealth Online Medical + Behavioral Health” initiative, made available to plan participants starting in June 2015, is a unique program allowing nearly 300,000 health plan members to take advantage of “virtual” doctor consultations...

Kentucky Justice Cabinet awards $900,000 in grants for alternative programs to supervise youth offenders

The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and the Department of Juvenile Justice has announced $900,000 in grants for local programs that help supervise youth in the community, allowing Kentucky to focus secure facilities on the most serious offenders. The grants are part of a new juvenile justice incentive fund that was established this year to support community-based services, treatment programs...

LEAF initiative pilot program in three Ky counties offers on-site educational and employment services

Pilot programs in three Kentucky counties have recently begun, marking the official launch of the Library Economic Advantage Forum – or LEAF – initiative, a partnership between the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) Skills U and the Kentucky Career Center (KCC) system. The LEAF initiative has been created to address the needs of Kentucky’s families,...

Department of Agriculture Hemp program approves more than 12,000 acres for planting in 2018

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has approved 225 applications from growers to cultivate up to 12,018 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2018. More than 681,000 square feet of greenhouse space were approved for indoor growers in 2018. “Kentucky continues to lead on industrial hemp research, exploring every aspect of this versatile crop,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan...

State agencies collaborate to provide employment, training opportunities to SNAP recipients

Kentuckians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and are eligible for the federally funded Employment and Training (E&T) program will now receive assistance from Kentucky Career Centers to meet education and employment training needs. To better serve the people of Kentucky, several agencies in the state government created a new system for SNAP recipients to access...

Gov. Bevin predicts short-term pain, long-term gain as he prepares for State of Commonwealth address

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Short-term pain, with long-term gain, is how Gov. Matt Bevin describes Kentucky’s future.   During an interview with Kentucky Today, the governor said 2018 will be comprised of financially related issues, especially pensions, the budget and taxes, which he calls directly or indirectly linked to one another. 
“We’ve got to pass pension reform, because it will very...