A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky unemployment rate drops 0.1 percent in December; jobless rate now at 4.3 percent in state

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary December 2019 unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The preliminary December 2019 jobless rate was down 0.1 percentage points from the 4.4 percent recorded for the state in November 2019. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate...

This week at the Capitol: Lawmakers address issues ranging from voter identification to school safety

As sure as gavel strikes mark the start of a Kentucky General Assembly session, packed hallways in the Capitol Annex are a sign that a session has gone into high gear as people from across Kentucky converge to make their voices heard. That was clearly the case this past week as thousands of Kentuckians came to the Capitol Campus to weigh in on issues ranging from voter identification to school safety....

Kentucky Senate passes bill requiring photo ID for voters along party lines; measure moves to House

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation requiring a photo ID in order to vote passed the Kentucky Senate along party lines on Thursday with Republicans moving the measure to the House. Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, said there are alternatives for those who don’t have a photo ID, such as a driver’s license. “They may produce another form of ID such as a social security card, a credit or debit...

Governor, transportation secretary focus on helping Kentuckians obtain REAL IDs by Oct. deadline

Gov. Andy Beshear and Transportation Secretary Jim Gray on Wednesday said they are focused on helping Kentuckians who need a REAL ID obtain one by the Oct. 1 deadline. The officials spoke at a joint appearance at the Kentucky Transportation headquarters. Despite Kentucky not currently meeting the federal REAL ID standards, the Beshear administration is committed to implementing the initiative. On...

Bill affecting state’s growing industrial hemp industry is first to pass Kentucky House Tuesday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation affecting Kentucky’s burgeoning hemp industry is the first to clear the Kentucky House during the 2020 General Assembly. 
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matthew Koch, R-Paris, told his colleagues it has the endorsement of The Kentucky Hemp Association and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. 
“This bill incorporates language and recent guidelines issued...

Kentucky Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has received $300k in ResMed settlement

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that the Kentucky Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has returned more than $300,000 to the state and federal Medicaid program as part of a joint settlement with other states and the federal government with ResMed Corp.. ResMed is a provider of health care goods and services, including manufacturing and selling positive airway pressure machines, masks,...

Longtime-clerk of the Supreme Court, Susan Stokley Clary, to retire on Feb. 1; clerked for three justices

One of the Supreme Court of Kentucky’s most recognizable figures is leaving her position. Susan Stokley Clary, the clerk of the Supreme Court for 25 years, will retire Feb. 1.   She has been clerk for three chief justices, Robert F. Stephens, Joseph E. Lambert and current Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr.   “Susan Clary’s long tenure on the second floor of the Capitol has made her synonymous...

This Week at the Capitol: Immigration, public assistance reform highlight busy opening week

There’s always a guessing game among Capitol observers in the early days of a Kentucky General Assembly session over which issues will be designated as Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 1 – honorifics reserved for matters considered to be among top priorities by legislative leaders. Part of that answer was unveiled last week when legislation on immigration was filed in the Senate as Senate Bill 1. The...

Senate finally oks Chris McDaniel’s bill to move election for governor, constitutional offices

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A proposed constitutional amendment to move Kentucky’s election for governor and other constitutional officers is the first bill to clear a chamber during the 2020 session. Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, is the sponsor of the bill, which he has presented for eight years in a row, and says lawmakers have missed the opportunity to save money. “The Commonwealth...

Schickel, Westerfield spar over concerns regarding out-of-state lobbying money targeting Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Kentucky lawmaker has expressed his displeasure at out-of-state money being used to lobby for legislation in Kentucky. Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to complain about the money spent on Marsy’s Law, a measure named after Marsy Nicholas, a California college student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in the 1980s. Republican...

State of Commonwealth: Gov. Beshear says state’s future depends on Kentuckians working together

In his first State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky’s future depends on leaving divisive politics in the past and focusing on providing opportunity for every Kentucky family.   Gov. Beshear said the transformational and positive change Kentucky families count on occurs when we break the cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction, and obtain a good-paying career,...

State Rep. David Meade unveils bill that incentivizes drug companies to bring cures to market

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation to promote cures for serious diseases was the topic of a press conference on Tuesday. House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, R-Stanford, is the sponsor of the cure bill, which he said incentivizes drug companies to conduct clinical trials and bring the cures to the market. From left: House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, R- Stanford and Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester....

McCracken County receives $360,000 grant for Lotus, a support center for survivors of assault and abuse

Gov. Andy Beshear and Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Dennis Keene have announced a $360,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to McCracken County for Lotus, an advocacy and support center for survivors of assault and abuse. The funding will further Lotus’s efforts in healing and recovery for survivors of sexual assault and child abuse. Lotus will use the grant to purchase...

Cameron leads coalition in filing of amicus brief urging abortion clinic licensing remain with states

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Friday led a 17-state coalition in filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court, saying a federal court cannot require a state to issue a license to an abortion provider. The brief argues under the U.S. Constitution the licensing of such entities is left to the states, which are responsible for developing the laws and regulations...

December General Fund receipts decline 4.1 percent from a year ago; Road Fund receipts up 4.2 percent

The state budget director reported Friday that December’s General Fund receipts totaled $1,084.3 million, a 4.1 percent decline compared to December of last year. Receipts have increased 2.7 percent for the first six months of the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2020. Second quarter collections rose 4.1 percent, which is an improvement over first quarter collections which rose 1.1 percent. The official...

Beshear restores board in support of workplace safety; panel committed to protecting Kentuckians

In an effort to strengthen workplace and worker safety, Gov. Andy Beshear has announced he is reestablishing a state board that sets workplace safety regulations. “Every Kentuckian should be safe at their place of employment,” Beshear said. “We have worked with industry leaders to reestablish the board and ensure we have professionals from across the Commonwealth who are committed to helping...

Banning sanctuary cities in Ky. remains a hot topic in Frankfort as supporters, opponents speak out

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Supporters of a bill to ban sanctuary cities in Kentucky, sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, came out to defend the legislation against recent complaints on Thursday. The opponents of the bill were vocal, too, among them the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, which calls the bill “dangerous and could have sweeping consequences for all Kentuckians if passed.” According...

State Rep. Russ Meyer announces he will not seek re-election representing 39th House District

State Rep. Russ Meyer, a former Nicholasville mayor and city commissioner who has been a member of the General Assembly since first being elected in 2014, announced Wednesday that he would not seek another term representing the 39th House District. “This wasn’t an easy decision, but after talking and praying with my family, it was the right one,” Meyer said. “Serving the community I love for...

Jamie Link named Executive Director of Kentucky Communications Network Authority

Jamie Link has been named Executive Director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority – the state agency overseeing the KentuckyWired project. During a special meeting on Wednesday, Link was voted in and hired by the KCNA Board. He replaces Interim Director Deck Decker. Jamie Link Link brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the agency. Previously he has served as the Finance Director...

Beshear joins advocates, survivors to raise awareness of human trafficking

In an effort to prevent human trafficking, Gov. Andy Beshear invited state leaders, advocates and survivors to the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday to recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Month. “In Kentucky, everyone should be safe and our communities should be free of the hideous crime of human trafficking,” said Beshear. “As attorney general, I was honored to work with so many passionate advocates...