A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lawmakers call Andy Beshear’s renewed push for expanded gaming in Kentucky ‘disappointing’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear is banging the gambling drum again in Kentucky. He sent a two-page letter to lawmakers on Monday with a repeated call for expanded gaming as a way to fund the state’s ailing pension system. Beshear, who made a similar plea in July when he announced his run for governor, faces an uphill battle in the General...

State and teachers retirement systems provided update to Public Pension Oversight Board

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today It was good news and bad news Monday as officials with the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Teachers Retirement System updated the Public Pension Oversight Board. David Eager, executive director of the KRS, told the panel he believes his pension systems have bottomed out. “Overall, the funded status dropped by .07 percent, which is teeny, compared to the prior year...

Department of Agriculture awards four county fair boards with construction, remodeling grants

Four Kentucky county fairs were awarded $300,000 from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for fairgrounds construction and remodeling, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. “The local fairgrounds are the hubs of our rural Kentucky communities,” Commissioner Quarles said. “They host county fairs, livestock shows, and other events that honor Kentucky’s agricultural traditions....

Woodford Judge-Executive (the Bear from Nonesuch) John Coyle dies suddenly on Sunday; he was 63

John Coyle, Woodford County Judge-Executive, died suddenly Sunday afternoon. He was 63. ‘Bear’ had served as the county’s judge-executive since 2007 and had previously served as sheriff. Visitation will be Thursday, 3-8 p.m. at Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home, 161 Broadway, in Versailles and on Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Versailles United Methodist Church, 230 Paynes Mill Road. Funeral...

Kentucky State Police recognize civilian employees; Randall Adams named Civilian Employee of the Year

Fourteen civilian employees were honored last week by the Kentucky State Police at a ceremony in Lexington highlighting their performance and public service during the past year. “The Kentucky State Police has a wide array of individuals with diverse talents and skills who contribute to our public safety mission on a daily basis,” said KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders. “Without them, our success...

Farm Bill seems likely to pass by the end of the year as part of year-end budget package

It seems likely that a new Farm Bill will pass by the end of the year, Harwood Schaffer and Daryll Ray of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee predict in their latest “Policy Pennings” column.  The big sticking point is proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The House version of the bill includes...

Kentucky Public Service Commission approves transfer of sewer systems in McCracken County

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the transfer of two small sewer systems in McCracken County to the Paducah-McCracken County Joint Sewer System. In an order issued today, the PSC found that the transfer of the systems serving the Joann Estates and Wilmington Chiles subdivisions will benefit their customers by improving service and reducing their bills. The PSC also found that,...

Lexington’s Division of Waste Management announces holiday collection schedule

Lexington’s Division of Waste Management will adjust its collection schedule for the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Residents and businesses whose regular curbside waste collection day falls on a holiday will be serviced on Wednesday instead. Monday customers will be serviced the Wednesday following the holiday, and Thursday and Friday customers will be serviced the...

No changes in six state House races recanvass, all to be sent for certification; Marsy’s Law awaits hearing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) –  No changes came from the recanvassing of six state House races and one for commonwealth’s attorney. They will be sent for certification on Nov. 20 by the State Board of Elections. One result stood out — In the Daviess County 13th House District race, Democrat Jim Glenn won by one vote over incumbent Republican DJ Johnson. Many others...

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao unveils initiative to increase rural infrastructure

At the 44th Annual Conference and Exposition of the Kentucky Association of Counties in Lexington this week, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched an initiative to expand access to a federal loan program for rural infrastructure projects. This initiative is welcome news for rural project sponsors in the Commonwealth and across...

Gov. Bevin recognizes sacrifice of Kentucky soldier who died in Korean War, remains recently returned

Gov. Matt Bevin today recognized the sacrifice of a Kentucky soldier who died in the Korean War, but whose remains have just been positively identified and are in the process of being returned to his family in Irvington. Army Pvt. Robert J. Sipes, Jr., 19, died on Nov. 30, 1950, was accounted for on Oct. 23, 2018, and will be buried in his hometown on December 5. Pvt. Robert J. Sipes JR In November...

Gov. Bevin honors first responders who rescued a Madison County girl, 3, lost for 15 hours

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin honored a group of first responders who helped rescue a missing Madison County girl last month during a ceremony at the State Capitol. 
Three-year-old Eden Hines walked away from her home around 1:30 Sunday afternoon on Oct. 14, prompting an intensive search by 30 different organizations, with 1,100 to 1,200 participants including volunteers from the community. First...

Democrat Rocky Adkins files paperwork to run for governor; announcement today in Morehead

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The element of surprise is gone from Democratic House Leader Rocky Adkins’ “special announcement” today in Morehead. 
As most suspected anyway, Adkins is running for governor. 
An examination of Kentucky Registry of Election Finance records shows a filing for a gubernatorial slate consisting of the Sandy Hook Democrat, along with Stephanie Horne, an outgoing member...

LFCUG hosting a Paper Shred Saturday; bring up to five boxes or bags of papers for Shred-it

Lexington will host a Paper Shred Saturday, November 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1631 Old Frankfort Pike. Fayette County residents may bring up to five boxes or bags of material to be shredded at no cost. No wet material will be accepted. This event allows Lexington residents to safely dispose of their sensitive materials in an environmentally-friendly way. Shred-it, a division of Stericycle, securely...

Amye Bensenhaver: Is there an ideal public records law? Kentucky is among the majority with its D+

Is there an ideal public records law among the 50 states? MuckRock, a self-described “collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze, and share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed,” recently asked this question. The article begins by noting that in a “State Integrity Report”...

Bevin Administration set to defend Commonwealth’s live dismemberment abortion law in district court

Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team will be in U.S. District Court this week in Louisville to argue on behalf of House Bill 454 (HB 454), which bans live dismemberment abortions. HB 454, passed by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support from legislators and signed into law by Gov. Bevin on April 10, is being challenged by the ACLU and a Louisville abortion clinic. The Bevin...

Chilton reports General Fund receipts rise 3.5 percent in October; Road Fund receipts rise 3.4 percent

State Budget Director John Chilton reported today that General Fund receipts rose 3.5 percent in October with revenues of $826.0 million. This compares to $798.4 million collected in October 2017. Through the four months of the fiscal year (FY19), the General Fund has grown 4.2 percent. The official General Fund revenue estimate for FY19 calls for revenue to grow 3.3 percent compared to FY18 actual...

Gov. Bevin, First Lady Bevin honor Kentucky adoptive, foster parents for dedication in child care

Gov. Matt Bevin, First Lady Glenna Bevin and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) officials recently honored several families from across the Commonwealth for their service as adoptive and foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children. “We are determined to make Kentucky the gold standard — to make this truly as fine a place to be a foster child as anywhere in America,”...

Gov. and First Lady honor families across the Commonwealth as adoptive, foster parents

Governor Matt Bevin, First Lady Glenna Bevin, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) officials recently honored several families from across the Commonwealth for their service as adoptive and foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children. “We are determined to make Kentucky the gold standard — to make this truly as fine a place to be a foster child as anywhere in America,”...

Incumbent Andy Barr finds satisfaction in high stakes U.S. House victory against challenger Amy McGrath

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, savored a high-profile and hard-fought win over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath to retain his seat in the 6th Congressional District. Barr’s camp received a gigantic energy boost last month with a visit and endorsement from President Donald Trump, who came to Richmond on one of his many campaign stops in the past two months to try...