A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KLC estimates a collective budget shortfall of $85 million for Kentucky’s cities due to coronavirus

Kentucky cities are facing an estimated collective budget shortfall of $85 million in Fiscal Year 2020 as a result of lost tax, utility, and other revenues due to COVID-19. A Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) study conducted last week shows many municipalities will be forced to take drastic action to make up the deficit if Congress does not act to provide direct financial assistance to local governments...

State Budget Director reports General Fund receipts drop precipitously (33.6 percent) in April

State Budget Director John Hicks reported Wednesday that April’s General Fund receipts dropped precipitously due to the impact of the novel coronavirus and the movement of the income tax filing deadline to July 15. Collections fell 33.6 percent, or $432.9 million, compared to April of last year. Nearly 90 percent of the decline was from individual and corporate income taxes. Total revenues for the...

Kentucky Office of Highway Safety joins NHTSA in promoting motorcycle safety month in May

In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) has joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” conscientiously and courteously to help prevent crashes, injuries and deaths on Kentucky roadways. “Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists...

Kentuckians encouraged to make communication inclusive during Better Hearing and Speech Month

With more than 700,000 people in Kentucky currently experiencing some degree of hearing loss, the coronavirus outbreak has prompted businesses, organizations and community leaders across the country to take stock and begin changing their methods of communication to be more inclusive. May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month, is the perfect time for the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard...

Ozone season is officially here, outdoor burning restricted in several Kentucky counties

Ozone season has begun and for some Kentucky counties that means taking extra care to learn before you burn. From May 1 through Sept. 30, open burning in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton, Lawrence, and Oldham counties is restricted to protect air quality. This is especially important this year as Kentucky fights through the Coronavirus pandemic. Ground-level ozone is a summertime health...

Lexington joins other Kentucky cities, will not open public pools this summer due to COVID-19 risk

(Photo from City of Lexington) Lexington’s public pools will not open this summer because of the health risks of COVID-19, Mayor Linda Gorton said. Lexington is following broad guidance from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and the CDC. Other Kentucky cities, including Covington and Paducah, have also closed their pools this summer. “Protecting the health of our citizens and our employees has to come...

Chief Justice Minton creates three task forces to plan how courts will reopen across the state

Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. has created three task forces to plan how courts across the state will resume limited in-person services. “As Kentucky begins to gradually reopen business, the courts must prepare to do the same,” Minton said in an email to the justices, judges, circuit court clerks and court personnel who serve the Judicial Branch. Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. “Although...

Board of Elections adopts emergency administrative regulation to allow absentee voting by mail

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The State Board of Elections on Friday unanimously adopted an emergency administrative regulation that will allow Kentucky’s primary election to be conducted largely by absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Gov. Andy Beshear, upon the recommendation of Secretary of State Michael Adams, issued an executive order moving the primary from May 19 to June...

Kentucky facing budget shortfall of nearly $500 million due to conditions caused by pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A report issued Thursday by the state budget director’s office shows a potential general fund revenue shortfall of $318.7 to $495.7 million for the 2020 fiscal year that ends June 30, due to conditions caused by the coronavirus. In the Quarterly Economic and Revenue Report for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, state Budget Director John Hicks said, “The revenue...

Kentucky State Board Of Agriculture selects Dr. Katie Flynn as deputy state veterinarian at KDA

The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture (SBOA) has unanimously approved Dr. Katie Flynn to serve as the new deputy state veterinarian at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Flynn currently serves as the Veterinary Specialist for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Animal Health Branch and brings 18 years of regulatory animal health experience to the KDA. “I appreciate...

Angry with Beshear over veto of SB 9, Cameron keeping watch on other abortion-related bills

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today While Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 9 – the Born Alive Act – stopped one pro-life bill, several other laws from the administration of former Gov. Matt Bevin are still facing court challenges. Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he is keeping a close watch on the bills. Two are awaiting ruling from the U.S. Sixth District Circuit Court and two others...

Legislative Research Commission staff drafted to assist with unemployment benefits backlog

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne have instructed Legislative Research Commission (LRC) Director Jay D. Hartz to arrange for legislative staff members to assist in reducing the state’s backlog of unemployment insurance applications.   The authorization from legislative leaders will allow LRC staff to start working with the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development...

Beshear vetoes the ‘Born Alive’ abortion bill, saying law already provides for protection of children

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 9 last week, saying that Kentucky law already fully protects children from being denied life-saving medical care and treatment when they are born. 
That decision brought sweeping response from Todd Gray, the executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, who called it “absolutely unimaginable.”   
“I...

Kentucky to distribute federal funding to arts organizations impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that Kentucky has received more than $450,000 in funding to provide novel coronavirus prevention, preparedness and response assistance to nonprofit arts organizations throughout the commonwealth as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. “As Kentucky starts to rebuild, we must provide support for businesses and organizations that have...

Secretary of State Michael Adams offers detailed plans for Kentucky’s June 23 primary election

Secretary of State Michael Adams has reached an agreement with Governor Andy Beshear on the methods of voting to be used in the June 23 primary election. “This plan fulfills my promise to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Adams. “Through expanding absentee voting – with appropriate safeguards – limiting the number of polling sites, and adopting in-person voting methods that limit...

Unemployment rates rise in 117 Kentucky counties during past year; Magoffin jobless rate 18.1 percent

Unemployment rates rose in 117 Kentucky counties between March 2019 and March 2020, fell in one (Crittenden County) and stayed the same in two (Owen and Robertson counties), according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 4.1 percent. It was followed...

Attorney General announces more than $112 million in annual tobacco settlement funds for Kentucky

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that Kentucky received $112,659,718.88 million in the 2020 annual tobacco settlement payment from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). “Funds from the MSA support important programs throughout the Commonwealth, including agricultural diversification initiatives and health and education programs,” said Cameron. “Since signing the agreement,...

Kentucky voter registration flatlines in March; Adams encourages online voter registration

Secretary of State Michael G. Adams announced that Kentucky saw a flatline in voter registration in March, with the state holding a total of 3,469,912 registrants as of March 31. This is a 0.01 percent increase since Feb. 29, or only 504 additional voters. Michael G. Adams Democratic registrants represent just more than 48 percent of the electorate with 1,679,132 registered voters. Democratic registration...

Annual unemployment rates fall in 62 Kentucky counties during 2019; Woodford lowest at 3.1 percent

Annual unemployment rates decreased in 62 Kentucky counties in 2019 compared to 2018, rose in 39 counties and stayed the same in 19 counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2019 at 3.1 percent. It was followed by Fayette...

Mowing to begin along state highways; political and business signs prohibited on right of way

Mowing season along Kentucky state highways is just around the corner. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and its contractors are preparing to cut grass on state right of way. State forces and contract crews will be mowing roadsides, and crews will be removing litter on some highways as well. KYTC officials ask Kentuckians to do their part by keeping the state right of way clear of temporary signs...