A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Versailles resident Brian Lacefield named new director of Kentucky Office of Agriculture Policy

Brian Lacefield, of Versailles, has been named the new director of the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced today. The Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy is the new name for the former Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy after Senate Bill 3 shifted responsibilities for the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund from the governor’s...

March General Fund receipts rise 9 percent over 2020 total; Total revenue up 5.9 percent for fiscal year

The Office of State Budget Director reported today that March’s General Fund receipts rose 9.0 percent compared to March of last year, an increase of $78.7 million. Total revenues for the month were $954.8 million, compared to $876.1 million during March 2020. Receipts have now grown 5.9 percent for the first nine months of FY21. For the just-completed quarter, total General Fund collections grew...

Kentucky to get more funds for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to help more children

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Kentucky will soon receive an extra $12.8 million per month for its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits program, and groups fighting hunger in the state say the increase will especially help feed more children. Katrina Thompson, executive director of the group Feeding Kentucky, said since March of last year, the state has relied on loosened federal...

Beshear signs three bills Friday taking steps to bring ‘meaningful change’ to social justice in Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A ceremony was held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville on Friday for the signing of three bills by Gov. Andy Beshear that deal with social justice issues. The governor told the group on hand for the event, “Kentucky can only be its strongest when everyone has real opportunity. Kentucky can only be its best when everyone is truly valued....

Kentucky temporarily shuts down unemployment insurance system to combat cyberattacks

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that significant steps are being taken to halt cyberattacks on the state’s unemployment insurance system, including shutting it down for four days. “These are unavoidable steps,” said Gov. Beshear. “They are not brought on by the speed of processing, they are brought on by the sophistication of criminal attacks themselves,...

Governor signs legislation that will result in creation of more than 14,500 jobs across Commonwealth

Gov. Andy Beshear joined legislative leaders from both parties on Wednesday to sign bipartisan legislation appropriating funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to create jobs, build better schools, expand broadband and invest in infrastructure, including clean drinking water. The Governor also signed House Bill 574, which expands voting opportunities in Kentucky. “While points of friction...

In-person unemployment services will be available beginning April 15 at locations across Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear and Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry L. Roberts announced Tuesday in-person unemployment insurance (UI) services will open April 15 at more than a dozen regional Kentucky Career Centers (KCCs). KCC staff will be available for in-person assistance by appointment only. At 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, Kentuckians can begin scheduling Monday through Friday appointments at kcc.ky.gov. Openings...

Gov. Andy Beshear signs executive order creating task force to combat unemployment insurance fraud

Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order creating the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Fraud Detection and Prevention Task Force on Monday, which will coordinate between state and federal entities to detect, investigate, prosecute and prevent unemployment insurance fraud in Kentucky. “Like many other states across the country, Kentucky has seen a surge in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims,”...

Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce provides comprehensive roundup of legislative actions

The Northern Kentucky Chamber has provided this final legislative round-up, offered in partnership with MML&K Government Solutions: The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly has adjourned and is officially in the books. The legislature may only return this year if called by the Governor into a Special Session. With additional federal funds to be spent and other funding issues potentially unfinished,...

Governor makes appointments to Kentucky boards and commissions; see vacancies filled here

Gov. Andy Beshear has made the following appointments to Kentucky boards and commissions: • Shelley Santry of Louisville to the office of Circuit Judge for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Family Division 2. • Shontelle Adams as a member of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs • Col. Shontelle Adams of Jeffersontown works in human resources at LG&E and KU Energy. He replaces Gen. David...

President Biden approves Beshear request for disaster declaration in response to winter storms

Less than two weeks after Gov. Andy Beshear requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government, President Joe Biden approved the request late Wednesday and ordered federal assistance to support Kentucky communities with recovery from devastating winter storms. “This declaration will make sure Kentuckians and our communities have the necessary resources to rebuild after the devastating...

Governor says bipartisan ‘Better KY’ legislation to create jobs, boost economy; reviewing bills’ details

Gov. Andy Beshear, following the final day of the 2021 regular session, announced Kentucky lawmakers and his administration reached a bipartisan agreement on legislation that aims to create more than 14,500 new jobs and help the commonwealth lead in the post-COVID economy. Through the passage of bills Tuesday evening, nearly $1.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds will be used to boost the state’s...

Legislative session gaveled to close as budget approved, numerous bills passed; here’s summary

The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2021 regular session was gaveled to a close this evening, ending a session in which lawmakers approved a state budget for the coming fiscal year and approved numerous other bills that will affect people throughout the state.   Most new laws approved this year will go into effect 90 days from today’s adjournment, except for those that specify a different effective...

Kentucky lawmakers send bill partially banning no-knock warrants to Governor Andy Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The bill severely restricting the use of no-knock warrants is now on its way to the governor after the Senate agreed with changes made to the legislation in the House. The measure, Senate Bill 4, is sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, who explained to the members of his chamber that he went along with the House amendments, particularly one that would...

United States Supreme Court to decide if Daniel Cameron can defend abortion-related law

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today The United States Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron can defend an abortion-related law that was struck down by a lower court. The law, which has been blocked by the courts, was passed in 2018. It bans a surgical procedure commonly used after the 15th week of pregnancy known as dilation and evacuation, or D&E for...

U.S. Dept. of Labor launches new website to assist unemployment fraud victims with identity theft

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a new website to help victims of unemployment identity theft. The agency unveiled the new website (en español) Monday to educate the public about the growing problem of unemployment identity theft and provide reporting guidance for citizens in every state. Kentucky residents who wish to report UI identity theft are advised to complete the form found on the...

National Governors Association task force steps up bipartisan momentum on infrastructure

The co-chairs of the National Governors Association (NGA)’s Economic Recovery and Revitalization Task Force discussed the vital federal-state partnership on infrastructure during a meeting with fellow Governors as they demonstrate bipartisan leadership on a key issue to post-pandemic economic recovery. Governors Andy Beshear of Kentucky and Henry McMaster of South Carolina joined Maine Governor Janet...

Appointments to state boards, commissions includes Lexington’s Crystal Wilkinson to Poet Laureate

Gov. Andy Beshear has made the following appointments to Kentucky boards and commissions: Gov. Beshear has appointed Crystal Wilkinson as the Kentucky State Poet Laureate. Crystal Wilkinson • Crystal Wilkinson of Lexington is an English professor at the University of Kentucky. She replaces Jeff Worley, whose term has expired. Ms. Wilkinson shall serve for a term expiring March 27, 2023. Gov. Beshear...

Kentucky Housing Corporation to exit state pension system, will transition to defined contribution plan

The Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) Board of Directors chose today to exit the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS). Starting July 1, KHC and its employees will no longer contribute to the state pension system. “Over the last three months, we have weighed the financial and personal impacts of each option upon the staff and KHC,” said Mike Denham, board chair. “It was a difficult decision, but...

Gov. Andy Beshear vetoes two bills that ‘undermine public education,’ signs 5 putting education first

Gov. Andy Beshear, a graduate of Kentucky public schools, has vetoed two bills that hurt educators and undermine public education. He also signed five bills that put public education first in Kentucky. “Education is how we provide better lives for all Kentuckians. It is how we build up a highly skilled workforce so we can quit chasing the jobs of the past and attract the investments and companies...